Online


Amazon employees demand the firm stop selling its facial recognition tech to police

Daily Mail

Over 450 Amazon employees have urged CEO Jeff Bezos to quit selling the tech giant's controversial facial recognition technology to cops. That's according to a new account, written by an anonymous Amazon employee, who joined other staffers in delivering a letter to Bezos laying out their demands. The facial recognition technology, called'Rekognition,' has been attracting scrutiny since May when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed Amazon had been selling it to several police departments around the country. Over 450 Amazon employees have urged CEO Jeff Bezos to quit selling the tech giant's controversial facial recognition technology, called Rekognition, to cops It comes a day after Bezos appeared at the Wired25 summit and defended his firm's involvement in government contracts. 'We know Bezos is aware of these concerns and the industry-wide conversation happening right now,' the employee wrote in a letter published to Medium.


Amazon scrapped a secret AI recruitment tool that showed bias against women

#artificialintelligence

Amazon.com's machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women. The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants' resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters. Automation has been key to Amazon's e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions. The company's experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars -- much like shoppers rate products on Amazon, some of the people said. "Everyone wanted this holy grail," one of the people said.


Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos Want Us All to Leave Earth--for Good

WIRED

It's July 17 and the temperature in the West Texas desert is marching, predictably, toward 100 degrees. But the air is cool inside the one-story prefab building where Jeff Bezos, wearing a North Face hiking shirt and a cap emblazoned with an Amazon Robotics logo, is attentive, back straight, listening. It's only Tuesday, but the week has already been eventful. His company's annual Prime Day sale proved so popular (good) that it temporarily took down the website (terrible). Amazon workers in Europe are striking.


5 AI Predictions Investors Need to Know -- The Motley Fool

#artificialintelligence

AI will continue to transform our homes. One of the most prolific uses of AI can be found in the humble smart speakers that nearly one-quarter of Americans have in their homes. It's become increasingly clear that tech companies look to these AI assistants to create new sources of revenue. For example, Amazon's Echo speakers allow people to easily buy products from its website through voice commands, and recent data shows that Amazon Prime members spend $400 more on the company's site if they own an Echo speaker than members who don't have one. Amazon could add $10 billion to its top line by 2020 thanks to the company's sales through its smart speakers, according to RBC Capital Market predictions.


Amazon scraps secret Artificial Intelligence recruiting tool that showed bias against women

#artificialintelligence

Amazon.com Inc's machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women. The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants' resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters. Automation has been key to Amazon's e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions. The company's experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars - much like shoppers rate products on Amazon, some of the people said. "Everyone wanted this holy grail," one of the people said.


Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women

#artificialintelligence

Inc's (AMZN.O) machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women. The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants' resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters. Automation has been key to Amazon's e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions. The company's experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars - much like shoppers rate products on Amazon, some of the people said. "Everyone wanted this holy grail," one of the people said.


How to Get Started With Conversational AI - DZone AI

#artificialintelligence

An ever-expanding list of benefits and a growing demand for voice interfaces has placed Conversational AI high on the list as a key component for any digital transformation strategy. With everyone from industry analysts and the Board recommending investment, the next question is how and where do you start with conversational AI? There is no doubt that conversational AI will be the defining technology of the next decade. From improving customer service and driving online sales revenue, to new ways of differentiation using voice interfaces, the speed with which conversational AI is being embraced is breathtaking. According to Gartner by 2020, 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant technology across engagement channels, up from less than 2% in 2017.


How Alexa Is Learning to Converse More Naturally : Alexa Blogs

#artificialintelligence

To handle more-natural spoken interactions, Alexa must track references through several rounds of conversation. If, for instance, a customer says, "How far is it to Redmond?" and after the answer follows up by saying, "Find good Indian restaurants there", Alexa should be able to infer that "there" refers to Redmond. We call the task of reference tracking "context carryover," and it's a capability that is currently being phased in to the Alexa experience. At this year's Interspeech, the largest conference on spoken-language understanding, my colleagues and I will present a paper titled "Contextual Slot Carryover for Disparate Schemas," which describes our solution to the problem of slot carryover, a crucial aspect of context carryover. "Domain" describes the type of application -- or "skill" -- that the utterance should invoke; for instance, mapping skills should answer questions about geographic distance.


How AI is helping Amazon become a trillion-dollar company

#artificialintelligence

From time to time, usually on garbage night, the animals wander into Sivasubramanian's backyard to pillage his trash. But try as they might, he and his family had never managed to spot the intruders. "My wife really wanted to see these bears in action," says Sivasubramanian, Amazon's VP of machine learning. "She will always try to stay up looking for bears to visit, and she wants me to give her company." He founded his solution in DeepLens, a new video camera system from Amazon Web Services that lets anyone with programming skills employ deep learning to automate various tasks.


From Reindeer to Robots, Automation Set to Deliver This Holiday Season

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"It's a fight for talent…It's like'Game of Thrones' out there," Erik Caldwell, chief operating officer for supply chain in the Americas and Asia Pacific at XPO Logistics Inc., XPO 2.83% said at an industry conference earlier this year, discussing the company's use of robots to fulfill online orders. The use of robotics and other automation technology in industrial operations is growing, although the vast majority of warehouse work remains largely manual. About 16.5% of organizations across several industries including warehousing are now using commercial service robots, and 21.5% have them in pilot programs, according to a 2018 survey of 600 respondents by research firm IDC. The holiday shopping season highlights a warehouse-worker squeeze that is driving more logistics operators to embrace automation, as the growth of online commerce pushes more retail sales from storefronts to distribution centers. Online fulfillment centers--where companies like Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -0.94% pick, pack and ship consumer orders--require two to three times as many workers as traditional warehouses.