Amazon Opens Alexa Young Innovator Challenge for UK Teens
Amazon has introduced the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge as a new Alexa skills contest aimed specifically at British teenagers. The Alexa Young Innovator Challenge is setting up educational programs as part of the contest for those ages 13 to 18 who want to publish Alexa Skills that “promote social good in their community.”
Alexa Young Innovator Challenge
The Alexa Young Innovator Challenge is soliciting Alexa skills from students between 13 and 18 that address real-world problems like healthcare, poverty, and the environment. The contest is part of the Amazon Future Engineer educational program in the UK, meaning it operates through classrooms, and the competitors will be submitting through their school between now and Feb. 3. To make the contest more accessible to students, there’s a free online coding walkthrough and teachers can access free lesson plans and related resources to guide students through on the challenge’s website. Amazon is pitching the challenge as not only a good opportunity for the students but one that will help build out a workforce capable of handling computer science and AI jobs, which Amazon estimates will grow by 40% in the next five years.
“AI is the world’s fastest-growing technology, and the UK is striving to be among the world’s leaders in this field, with 56% of businesses planning to increase investment in AI technologies within the next three years,” Amazon technology director and UK ambassador for Amazon Future Engineer Lauren Kisser said. “Through the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge, we hope to not only build confidence in students’ ability to understand and control this incredible technology but also inspire young minds, regardless of their background, to realize their potential as creators, thinkers and builders of the future; using AI to create innovative solutions to real-world problems.”
The winning students will receive £2,500 in tech products, with another £2,500 donated to their schools, while 20 runners-up will earn £250 in tech products and £500 for their school. Kisser will judge the entrants along with YouTuber Tobi Brown, TV presenter Carol Vorderman MBE, computer scientist Professor Sue Black, and Stemettes founder Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon.