Meet the Dream TEAM: Our journey to Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge
We have been extremely busy over the last two months because we worked hard on our projects. So it's finally time to introduce the team and tell you about our activities and ways of further development!
We are a DREAM TEAM of passionate people who are the CREATORS of the AI technology you will soon see. We are a team from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology selected to compete in the Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 3.

Do you know about Alexa Prize Challenge? No?

Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge is a competition for students dedicated to the development of conversational artificial intelligence technologies. The aim of the contest is to create a socialbot that will be able to communicate freely with people on news events and such popular topics as entertainment, sports, politics, technology and fashion. Teams must solve problems of natural language recognition, text generation, context modeling and dialogue management. Development of prototypes began in September,and the winner would be announced in may 2020.
"The bigger the DREAM, the more important the TEAM."
So here is a quick introduction to the core team and an overview of each member's special responsibilities:


Idris is a big expert in developing various systems, from web – apps on Ruby on Rails to dialogue agents that uses a wide range of NLP and machine learning methods. He really loves his job. So, he prefers working to having a rest. He's an employee's dream, isn't he?

Dilya is the one and the only girl in our team. Her current research is dedicated to neural approaches to text classification and evolutionary algorithms for neural architecture search.
She is everyone's favorite diva.

@Yurakuratov (team Leader)
Yura is the big boss and just a good leader. His main projects deal with coreference resolution, question answering, and language modeling.
His motto is «No more words! Only work!»

Denis's research is focused on neural machine translation, neural networks attention mechanisms with the constrained condition. The bulk of his research is on generative models and their improvement.
He is so inspired by the work that he lives it!


He's a big fan of his work!
He trains the transformer to generate text on dialogue data together with the person.
He has such a background that any self-respecting programmer dreams of it.

@theanhle or cool boy
Anh's research is related with to deep neural network models for natural language processing tasks and focuses on structural retrieval from the text (e.g., named entity recognition, coreference resolution).
He'll do more than necessary and does it very clearly.

The most important person. Sure! He is the supervisor who knows how to direct the work of the team in the right course. If you need advice or help, you can always ask him.

What happened in Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 1?

Our unique journey into the world of Alexa Prize Social Bot Grand Challenge began in 2017 and it was the first challenge. It's no secret, our team tried to participate in this Challenge, but ourattempt failed. Why? Because we knew little about the intricacies of this project. Yura and Idris under the guidance of Mikhail Burtsev prepared the application for this challenge, unfortunately, they had no experience at all.
But guys didn't give up and decided to try their luck in the Conversational Intelligence Challenge 1 (ConvAI), (an open competition to create a chatbot that can hold an intelligent conversation with a human partner). For them, it was the first step to the top. Yuri and Idris won ConvAI in 2017.

What happened in Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 2?

If you want to take part in competitions, you need good knowledge. That is why the team and Mikhail Burtsev worked hard and gained experience in this area in the process of release of the components of the DeepPavlov library. And therefore, there was absolutely no time to participate in Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 2.

What happened in Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 3?

This yearwe started preparing for the challenge in advance. We were engaged withactive work in early March. All the members of the team dealt with this issue at once. We with «clean head» plunged into the project. The team saw the goal and each participant clearly performed their tasks. "I see the goal, I see no obstacles!" It seems that this phrase correctly describes our aspiration. We looked forward to the results. And so, our application was accepted!! We were incredibly happy! This meant that a new level of knowledge and experience opened up for us. And the DREAM TEAM became more serious about writing the text itself, the functional requirements and the scientific part.
The Alexa Prize is a great opportunity for the DREAM TEAM to develop a socialbot that can be a good companion for Alexa users, a virtual character able to provide entertainment with useful and fun facts, as well as engage its partner in a deeper discussion on topics of interest in a natural way.

So much about the DREAM TEAM and our participation history. Follow our news on the site and subscribe to Twitter. After all, the most interesting awaits you ahead!
We need your help and support.Team forward!

8 NOV / 2019