Call for Proposals

Amazon-Illinois Center on AI for Interactive Conversational Experiences (AICE)

AICE Call for Proposals 2024-2025


Recent advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Large Foundational Models allow us to develop complex conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques for various scenarios, such as task-oriented and chit-chat dialog systems, and even to guide users in performing complex real-world tasks. However, existing systems still lack deep knowledge acquisition and reasoning. They are also generally limited to interactions in single data modalities (e.g., text or speech). Further, they are incapable of continued self-learning, self-updating and self-correction. The Amazon-Illinois Center on AI for Interactive Conversational Experiences (AICE) is a collaboration between Amazon and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, to revolutionize the paradigm and develop intelligent conversational systems that can automatically acquire, create, validate, reason, and update their knowledge through multimodal interactions with data and human users.

Amazon is improving customers’ lives with practical, useful generative AI innovations. We do this by building and deploying AI across three technology layers: at the bottom layer we offer our own high performance and cost-effective custom chips, as well as a variety of other computing options including from third-parties. At the middle layer, we offer customers choice by providing the broadest selection of Foundation Models—both Amazon-built as well as those from other leading providers. At the top layer we offer generative AI applications and services to improve every customer experience.

There are three things that distinguish Amazon’s approach to the development and deployment of AI:

1) Maintaining a strategic focus on improving the customer and employee experience through practical, real-world applications of AI; 2) marshaling our world-class data, compute, and talent resources to drive AI innovation; and 3) committing to the development of responsible, reliable, and trustworthy AI.

The AICE Center is calling for proposals for the second funding round, 2024-2025 academic year. In this phase, the center will support 3-5 sponsored projects. Each funded project will support a PhD research assistant and 2-4 weeks of summer salary for principal investigators (PIs). Each selected project will then engage with research scientists from Amazon to collaborate and jointly advise PhD students.

 Research topics and instructions for submission can be found in the formal Call for Proposals.

 Important Dates

  • March 29, 2024: Abstract Submission Deadline
  • March 29 - April 13, 2024: Abstract feedback sessions with Amazon scientists and UIUC faculty
  • May 24, 2024: Full Proposal Submission Due
  • Early July 2024: Full Proposal Acceptance Notification
  • September 2024: AICE Center Event