MOSCOW, 7 Jun — RIA Novosti. A team of specialists from the Moscow physical-technical Institute became the participant of the contest Prize Alexa Socialbot Grand Challenge, under which it will receive 250 thousand USD from the company of Jeff Bezos to develop conversational artificial intelligence. About it reports a press-service of the University.

In the summer of 2017, scientists from the MIPT announced the creation of a system of “conversational” artificial intelligence iPavlov the ability to mimic a living person, and invited everyone to test it and work together to make it better. Using the help of volunteers, the researchers hope over the next three years to create a voice assistant that is able to communicate with the person as well as a lively conversationalist.

In fact, these ideas weren’t invented today — modern voice assistants from Google, Apple, Amazon, and other IT companies rooted in the deep past, to the beginning of the computer era. The first “talking machine”, named ELIZA, was created in 1966, and was, in fact, a joke, a parody of a psychotherapist, giving useless advice to the patient.

In the subsequent years and decades, programmers have been creating increasingly complex and “live” communication with the computer. The most advanced of these systems can recognize the mood of the owners, to remember his old desires and preferences, and solve a part of the routine and domestic tasks for him, ordering food or goods in the store or playing the role of the operator in the call centers.

The creation of such systems, as the researchers note, today is limited by the fact that they need to actually “manually” to teach communication skills, passing them through large data sets and the processed dialogue. The quality and content of these texts depends on how “humane” is a chatbot, and how well it will respond to the queries of the public.

Amazon is the third year conducting a special contest Prize Alexa Socialbot Grand Challenge, in which teams of students and young scientists trying to create artificial intelligence that can recognize speech and communicate with a person on certain popular topics.

Participating developers will receive not only financial support from the organization of Jeff Bezos — grant in the amount of 250 thousand dollars, but the access to the dataset Topical Chat, while the largest database of its kind.

This is not the first such project for Russian specialists — scientists from MIPT and the creators iPavlov conducted such contest, together with representatives of the company Facebook, using a different data set, Persona-Chat, developed by Mark Zuckerberg to improve its system AI chatbot Zo.

As the press service of the University, the first team meeting will be held in August in the American Seattle. In September the team will begin to develop their agents, and in may 2020 will be determined the winner, who will receive a grant of one million dollars. It is necessary to create a system that will be able to engage with 65% of the volunteers for at least two dozen minutes.

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