(From left) Lifu Huang, assistant professor of computer science and faculty at the Sanghani Center is advising a team of Ph.D. students — Minqian Liu, Ying Shen, Zhiyang Xu, and Barry Yao — competing in the Alexa Prize SocialBot Grand Challenge 5 sponsored by Amazon.com Services LLC. Photo by Jingyuan Qi.

A team of four graduate students at the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics is one of nine international university teams selected to compete in the Alexa Prize SocialBot Grand Challenge 5 sponsored by Amazon.com Services LLC. Each participating team will receive up to a $250,000 research grant to build a skill that can help Alexa converse with users on popular topics and current events for at least 20 minutes while achieving a user rating of at least 4.0/5.0. Top finishing teams will also be eligible for various prizes. Read more here.