Amazon expands Alexa Fund Fellowship

American electronic commerce and cloud computing company Amazon has expanded its Alexa Fund Fellowship, a programme designed to fund and support researchers and universities working on voice technology, from four universities to 18, including its hometown institution, the University of Washington, reports Nat Levy for GeekWire.

As part of the expansion, Amazon split the programme into two areas for the 2018-19 university year, awarding fellowships for graduate students focused on conversational artificial intelligence and a fellowship for faculty to become experts in voice interfaces at their universities. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California will receive both fellowships. There are universities from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and India involved in the second year of the project.

As part of the programme, Amazon covers costs of tuition for graduate fellows and offers a competitive stipend and mentoring from an Alexa scientist. Innovation fellows receive funding to help student start-ups, Alexa devices, hardware kits and regular training with Alexa Fund-backed entrepreneurs. The fellowships are an off-shoot of the Alexa Fund, a US$200 million vehicle for Amazon to invest in start-ups focused on voice technology.
Full report on the GeekWire site