12 Dec 2017

Heriot-Watt University is Recognised as One of the World’s Best for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at International Competition

Heriot-Watt University showcased its excellence in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics by finishing in third place at the Amazon Alexa Prize, an annual university competition dedicated to accelerating the field of conversational AI.

Comprising of 9 students, their team, called What’s Up Bot, dazzled the competition with Alana, their artificial intelligence software that can understand and respond to human conversation.

During the competition, participants were tasked with building a “socialbot” that could make coherent and engaging conversation with people on popular topics for 20 minutes.

Not only did Heriot-Watt’s Alana system gain the highest average rating out of all the teams on the final day of testing, it was the only university from the United Kingdom to reach the final three. Their team beat more than 100 entries from 22 countries around the world, including teams from prestigious institutions such as Harvard University and Princeton University.

This win seals Heriot-Watt’s place as a key player in the global field of artificial intelligence and robotics. Congratulations, Heriot-Watt!

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