OSU Team Selected to Participate in the First Alexa Prize TaskBot Challenge

Posted: June 29, 2021

A team of computer science and linguistic students led by Prof. Huan Sun has been selected to participate in the first Alexa Prize TaskBot Challenge.


Only 10 teams out of 125 applicant teams were selected to compete in this challenge. Each team will receive a $250,000 research grant, Alexa-enabled devices, free Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support their research and development efforts. Success in the competition will require teams to address many AI challenges including knowledge representation and inference, commonsense and causal reasoning, and language understanding and generation. The yearlong competition will conclude in May 2022, with winners being announced in June to receive $500,000, $100,000, and $50,000 prizes for the first, second, and third place, respectively.

The team will develop an agent to help customers complete complex tasks, like cooking and home improvement, which require multiple steps and decisions. Most of the students are from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and advised by Prof. Huan Sun and Prof. Yu Su. One of Prof. Michael White’s students from the Department of Linguistics is also participating in this competition. 

“With this new Alexa Prize challenge, we are now turning to multi-step and multi-modal task completion that can span hours if not days,” said Yoelle Maarek, vice president of research and science, Alexa Shopping. “I am delighted to see that so many quality university teams have expressed interest in addressing this hard AI challenge. This is a wonderful example of our customer-obsessed science approach where we join forces with academia to push the boundaries of science with the goal of delighting our customers.”


Congratulations to the OSU team, and best of luck!