Discover the Future of Natural Alexa Interactions

Alexa Conversations (beta) lets you create Alexa skills that feel more natural with fewer lines of code.

The number of ways customers can engage and the variety of dialog paths they can take results in a combinatorial explosion of states and code. For example, a pizza ordering skill with seven topping combinations requires more than 5,000 dialog paths. Alexa Conversations helps your customers experience natural conversations with much less development effort, freeing you to focus on the experience instead of on flowcharts.

The Blueshift Pizza demo above was made with three sample dialogs and three APIs.

This new AI-driven approach to dialog management enables you to create skills that customers can interact with in a natural, unconstrained way - using the phrases they prefer, in the order they prefer – while freeing you to focus on the highest value parts of your experience. Unlike traditional dialog managers, with Alexa Conversations you do not have to code or even identify all of the different ways customers might interact. Instead, you provide a set of example dialogs and how they map to specific services in your skill. Alexa Conversations applies deep learning to extrapolate the many possible dialog paths that customers might use, and uses this learning in real-time to automatically manage customer interactions. This includes keeping track of state, maintaining context, accepting customer-driven corrections, and then calling your services at the right time. Alexa Conversations feature is available in the en_US locale. 

Log in to the Alexa Developer Console to get started, or learn more.

View full rules

Prizes

$101,000 in prizes

Grand Prize

• $20,000 USD
• Alexa Skills Challenge trophy
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Finalist (10)

• $5,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Top 300 Participation Prize (300)

• For US participants, $50 Amazon.com e-gift card
• For international participants, $50 USD transferred via PayPal or Payoneer only

Best Food and Drink Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Best Travel and Transportation Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Best Productivity Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Best Education and Reference Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Best Game Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Best Wildcard Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Best Alexa Conversations Audio Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Best Alexa Conversations Visual Skill

• $2,000 USD
• Blog post featuring the winning skills
• Chance for an interview on Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski’s podcast

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Eligibility

  • Individuals, and teams of individuals, must be 18 years or older to participate, or have reached the legal age in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry 
  • The competition welcomes contestants from around the globe. However individuals or organizations may be disqualified if they are based in a nation, state, province, or territory where U.S. or local law prohibits participating in the competition or receiving a prize. This includes individuals, who are residents of, and organizations domiciled in Brazil, Quebec, Cuba, Sudan, Iran, North Korea, Syria and any other country designated by the United States Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Requirements

Main Requirement: Build (or update) and publish a custom Alexa skill in the U.S. Skill Store that integrates the new Alexa Conversations dialog manager. Skills must be published in the U.S. Skill Store and support English in order to be eligible. Global developers may submit for certification in the en_US locale. See Official Rules for full eligibility requirements. 

Submission Package: A skill description, video demo, and other information must be submitted on the Devpost website by September 14th at 5:00pm EST to be considered. For a complete list of requirements, see the Official Rules.

Certification: All skills must be submitted to the U.S. Alexa Skill Store by September 14th at 5:00pm EST and PASS certification by September 30th at 5:00pm EST. Submissions to Devpost must include a video demonstration and written detailed description of the skill, including instructions for judges how to invoke and access any purchasable content (if applicable).

NEW: Bonus Extension Period: Publish an eligible Alexa Conversations skill by October 5, 2020 at 11:59pm EST to the U.S. Skill Store and complete the form HERE for a chance at Bonus Participation Prizes ($40 USD value). NOTE: Bonus Extension skills are NOT eligible for any other prizes and all submissions must be received to Devpost AND certified by the deadline.

Judges

Miriam Daniel

Miriam Daniel
VP, Echo Devices & Alexa Skills Kit, Amazon

Nedim Fresko

Nedim Fresko
VP, Alexa Devices & Developers, Amazon

Prem Natarajan

Prem Natarajan
VP, Alexa AI, Natural Understanding, Amazon

Paul Cutsinger

Paul Cutsinger
Alexa Skills Kit Northstar, Amazon

Kristy Caster

Kristy Caster
Senior Software Engineer, Amazon

Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek

Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek
CEO and Founder, Women in Voice

Maria Karaivanova

Maria Karaivanova
Principal, Madrona Venture Group

Priti Youssef Choksi

Priti Youssef Choksi
Partner, Norwest Venture Partners

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the idea
    (Including the uniqueness, creativity, and ingenuity of the skill using Alexa Conversations.)
  • Quality of the user experience
    (Including whether Alexa Conversations helps the skill perform as expected)
  • Potential impact of the idea
    (Including the extent to which the skill is widely useful, customizable with more APIs, options to extend into other scenarios, etc.)
  • Quality of the Submission Package
    (Including the quality of the description, video demo, and any other materials submitted to Devpost.)

themes

  • Machine Learning/ AI
  • Voice skills