Hyderabad: IIIT-Hyderabad has received the Alexa Graduate Fellowship for 2018-2019, making it the first Indian university among a list of 18 universities worldwide to receive this fellowship.
The Alexa Fellowship supports advanced conversational AI research by providing funding and mentorship to PhD and post-doctoral students. These students, under their faculty advisor’s leadership and with additional guidance from their Alexa AI mentor, will push the boundaries of the capabilities of spoken language systems.
Prof. C V Jawahar, who has been chosen as the Faculty Advisor, along with Alexa Graduate Fellow Praveen Krishnan, a senior graduate student of IIIT-H, will teach conversational AI to undergraduate and graduate students using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and Alexa Voice Services (AVS). Students will be introduced to the science behind voice technology via hands-on projects and labs.
Speaking on the Fellowship, Prof C V Jawahar, Head, Centre for Visual Information Technology (CVIT) and Amazon Chair said, “IIIT-H is happy to be chosen as the first Indian institute to qualify for the Amazon Alexa Fund Fellowship. We’re looking forward to sharing our research on speech and language technologies with Amazon.”
IIIT-Hyderabad is the only Indian institute to receive Fellowship based on a number of criteria including its research interests, planned coursework and existing conversational AI curriculum. The other universities include Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, MIT App Inventor, University of Cambridge, University of Sheffield, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington, and University of Waterloo.
Paul Bernard, Director of the Alexa Fund, said, “We want to increase the quantity and quality of students focused on advancing spoken language systems, and conversational AI is usually under-represented amongst general AI/ML fields. With the Alexa Fellowship, we hope to see more innovation in the fields of machine learning, speech science and natural language understanding from students at IIIT-Hyderabad.”