AWS Machine Learning Blog

Announcing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hackathon: Build Intelligent Applications using machine learning APIs and serverless

Amazon Web Services (AWS) brings image and video analysis, natural language processing, speech recognition, text-to-speech, and machine translation within the reach of every developer. With machine learning (ML) services by AWS, you can plug in prebuilt AI functionality into your apps without having to worry about ML models.

Thousands of developers have used Amazon ML application services to build innovative solutions without deep ML expertise. We’ve seen customers use Amazon Polly and Amazon Translate to build two-way translator apps. Others used Amazon Polly and Amazon Lex to break down communication barriers for individuals with special needs. And some used Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Comprehend, and Amazon Transcribe to power a full social video platform that extracts visual metadata and sentiment for a new level of video analytics.

But we’re sure we’re still only scratching the surface of what’s possible. Today, we’re excited to announce the AWS Artificial Intelligence (AI) Application Hackathon, the perfect opportunity to bring your ideas to life and compete for valuable prizes!

The challenge: build intelligent applications using machine learning and serverless APIs

Put your skills to the test and apply vision, speech, and language intelligence to a new or existing application. Use Amazon ML application services to gain customer insights, personalize content recommendations, enable customer search, and much more.

Use AWS Lambda to write and run the logic for your application using serverless compute, which allows you to run code without managing any servers.

There are two requirements to enter:

  1. You must use two or more of the following language and vision API services: Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Polly, Amazon Lex, Amazon Translate, and Amazon Rekognition.
  2. You must use AWS Lambda to run your application’s code. For example, you can use Lambda to call the language and vision API services when an event occurs (e.g., an image is uploaded to Amazon S3 or an HTTP call). You can also use Lambda to process and store outputs into other AWS services.


Prizes include cash and AWS credits, which you can use to further develop your idea!

First prize:

  • $5,000 USD
  • $2,500 in AWS credits for first place

Second prize:

  • $3,000 USD
  • $1,500 in AWS credits

Third prize:

  • $2,000 USD
  • $1,000 AWS credits for third place.

See the rules for more information on rules and eligibility.

Get started now

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

  1. Read the rules and eligibility guidelines.
  2. Register for the AWS Artificial Intelligence Hackathon.
  3. Create an AWS account (if you haven’t already).
  4. Learn about ML and serverless from AWS with documentation in resources and consider inspiration on how to get started.
  5. Build! Create a new project or add intelligence to an existing project. Shoot your demo video that demonstrates your project in action. Prepare a written summary of your application and what it does.
  6. Submit your project on before November 7, 2018, at 5 p.m. ET. Be sure to share the links to access to the repo and the deployment files.

Need help? Join the AWS AI Challenge Slack Channel to get expert help and collaborate with like-minded participants!


Here are the key dates for the hackathon:

  • August 18 – November 07, 2018: Submission period
  • November 12–16, 2018: Judging period
  • November 17, 2018: Winners announced

If you haven’t already, get started here! Good luck!

About the Author

Cameron Peron is Sr. Developer Marketing Manager for Artificial Intelligence at Amazon Web Services.