Voice Assistance for Cities Hackathon

Hey Cortana, can you help make our city SMART!?”

The City of Phoenix, the Institute for Digital Progress (iDP), Microsoft, Cox Communications, and the ASU Center for Smart Cities and Regions are seeking the top technologists in the Greater Phoenix Region for the Voice Assistants for Cities Hackathon. Applicants or teams will be accepted into the challenge based upon the strength of developer experience and specialty and invited to attend the Bot-in-a-Day workshop (registration link below where you can upload your resume).

Technologies covered at the Bot-in-a-Day workshop will include:

  • Azure Bot Service
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • QnA Maker
  • Cognitive Services
  • LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service)
  • Cortana

At the conclusion of the Bot-in-a-Day workshop, participating developers and innovators will be given the opportunity to utilize their training and showcase their tech talents and skills, by developing voice activated solutions which help to solve challenges faced by cities and agencies throughout the Greater Phoenix Region. The participating teams will have six weeks to develop a minimum viable product, which will be pitched to a panel of judges on July 26th, 2018, and a winner will be selected.  The winner of the Voice Assistants for Cities Hackathon will receive a pilot opportunity with the City of Phoenix in order to help further develop their technology solutions.

Some of the potential challenges that the city will be looking for the developers to solve through this technology include:

  1. How can we take advantage of the maturing technology in voice-activated assistants (from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple) or chatbots to have citizens “voice” their questions and guide them through the answers?
  2. How can we provide the most commonly needed information to decrease customer wait time, mitigate missing information on common forms and reiterate required items needed to make the customer experience optimal?
  3. How can we build intelligence into these systems, utilize machine learning and AI and over a period of time based on the questions asked, build a knowledge base to answer queries from citizens in the most efficient and effective manner? Be able to “ingest” city documents to provide up-to-date information.
  4. How can we connect these intelligent systems to back-end CRM systems from Microsoft (Dynamics CRM) or SalesForce so requests for service get entered into these CRM systems and get tracked and responded to?

How to win a pilot opportunity with the City of Phoenix

Individual and teams of developers are welcome to register with iDP at the link below, and selections of the teams will be based on the strength of developer experience and specialty.  The Voice Assistants for Cities Hackathon is a limited availability event, with prospective developers required to submit an application form prior to the application deadline of June 9th, 2018.  The selected teams will be notified of acceptance by June 11th, 2018, and will be expected to be able to be present for the full day, Bot-in-a-Day workshop on June 14th, 2018, and the Hackathon finale on July 26th, 2018.

The Voice Assistants for Cities hackathon is part of iDP’s efforts to create the nation’s largest and most connected Smart Region across Greater Phoenix.  For more information and to register as a participant for the hackathon, fill out the form at the bottom of this page before applications close at midnight on June 9th, 2018.

In addition to the pilot and other opportunities for the winning team, iDP will work with the winners to expand the winning solution into partner cities across the region and across the world.

To submit your final presentation, fill out this form: