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Who Is Andy Jassy, the Amazon Exec Taking Over Jeff Bezos' Job?

Slate

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that he will step down as CEO later this year and become executive chairman of the company's board. He described the move in a letter to employees as an opportunity for him to focus on "new products and early initiatives" and his various pet projects like his space-flight company Blue Origin and the Washington Post. In Bezo's stead, longtime Amazon executive Andy Jassy will become the new CEO. So, who exactly is that guy? Jassy joined Amazon in 1997, three years after its founding.


Inside the mind of Jeff Bezos

The Guardian

The first thing I ever bought on Amazon was an edutainment DVD for babies. I don't recall making the purchase, but the data is unequivocal on this point: on 14 November 2004, I bought Baby Einstein: Baby Noah – Animal Expedition for the sum of £7.85. My nearest guess is that I got it as a Christmas present for my nephew, who would at that point have been one year old, and at the very peak of his interest in finger-puppet animals who cavort to xylophone arrangements of Beethoven. This was swiftly followed by three more DVD purchases I have no memory of making. Strangely, I bought nothing at all from Amazon the following year, and then, in 2006, I embarked on a PhD and started ramping up my acquisition of the sort of books that were not easily to be found in brick-and-mortar establishments. Everything ever published by the American novelist Nicholson Baker. I know these things because I recently spent a desultory morning clicking through all 16 years of my Amazon purchase history. Seeing all those hundreds of items bought and delivered, many of them long since forgotten, was a vaguely melancholy experience. I experienced an estranged recognition, as if reading an avant-garde biography of myself, ghost-written by an algorithm. From the bare facts of the things I once bought, I began to reconstruct where I was in life, and what I was doing at the time, and what I was (or wanted to be) interested in. And yet an essential mystery endured.


Amazon axes staff at Prime Air drone project, launches talks with external manufacturers

ZDNet

Amazon has laid off "dozens" of employees working on the firm's drone project while also seeking out manufacturing deals with third-parties. The Financial Times reported on Thursday that the e-commerce giant is axing staff involved in the Prime Air drone program's research, development, and manufacturing units. According to sources close to the matter, Amazon is still "years away" from the project properly lifting off the ground. See also: Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery system earns key FAA certification First revealed in 2013, Amazon Prime Air aims to use octocopter drones to deliver small parcels ordered through the Amazon e-commerce platform in as little as 30 minutes. While the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently granted Amazon permission to begin testing customer drone deliveries in the US -- four years after the company agreed to a partnership with the UK government to "explore the steps needed to make the delivery of parcels by small drones a reality" -- it seems a shake-up is in order.


Machine Knowledge: Creation and Curation of Comprehensive Knowledge Bases

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Equipping machines with comprehensive knowledge of the world's entities and their relationships has been a long-standing goal of AI. Over the last decade, large-scale knowledge bases, also known as knowledge graphs, have been automatically constructed from web contents and text sources, and have become a key asset for search engines. This machine knowledge can be harnessed to semantically interpret textual phrases in news, social media and web tables, and contributes to question answering, natural language processing and data analytics. This article surveys fundamental concepts and practical methods for creating and curating large knowledge bases. It covers models and methods for discovering and canonicalizing entities and their semantic types and organizing them into clean taxonomies. On top of this, the article discusses the automatic extraction of entity-centric properties. To support the long-term life-cycle and the quality assurance of machine knowledge, the article presents methods for constructing open schemas and for knowledge curation. Case studies on academic projects and industrial knowledge graphs complement the survey of concepts and methods.


Trump approves TikTok deal with Oracle and Walmart 'in concept'

Engadget

TikTok appears to have avoided a US ban at the last minute... probably. President Trump has agreed to a deal "in concept" (via CNBC) that theoretically allays US security issues while letting it operate in the country. True to earlier discussions, Oracle and Walmart would claim a 20% investment stake in a newly formed TikTok Global company that will run the social video service's business in the US and "most of the users" worldwide. Oracle would become TikTok's "secure cloud provider" and hold on to American data, while Walmart would wield its e-commerce and advertising technology. The deal will also see TikTok Global pay over $5 billion in "new tax dollars" to the US Treasury, and join with Oracle, Walmart and investors like Coatue and Sequoia to launch an AI-powered educational video curriculum. The program would teach kids basics like math, reading and science, as well as more advanced subjects like computer engineering.


How Deep Learning Is Revolutionizing e-Commerce Today -

#artificialintelligence

For e-retailers, deep learning offers immense opportunities to increase conversion rates and improve the brand image through positive customer experience. According to a 2018 U.S. Census Bureau report, the e-Commerce industry has shown impressive growth in the past one decade. The online revenues have steadily eaten into an additional 1.5% of the yearly retail sales for the past several years. Tech giant Amazon is projected to make up half of all eCommerce sales in the US by 2021. Statista predicts the global e-Commerce sales will amount to $ 4.88 trillion; thereby, showcasing a yearly growth of 20%.


Jeff Bezos warns Big Tech not to 'turn their backs' on the U.S. military: 'We are the good guys'

FOX News

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos warned American technology companies to resist bowing to employee pressure to "turn their backs" on the Pentagon and the defense of the United States. "One of the things happening inside technology companies is there are groups of employees who, for example, think that technology companies should not work with the Department of Defense," said Bezos during a discussion at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Friday, which is also available on Fox Nation. "People are entitled to their opinions," continued Bezos, "but it is the job of the senior leadership team to say, 'No.'" In 2018, Silicon Valley giant Google made the controversial decision to withdraw its bid to work on a Pentagon initiative called Project Maven, which used artificial intelligence to analyze data captured by U.S. government drones. More than 3,000 Google employees signed a letter addressed to company CEO Sundar Pichai protesting Google's involvement.


Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin will enlist aerospace companies like Lockheed Martin to build lunar lander

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Blue Origin said it will no longer go-it-alone on the development of a lander designed to bring humans back to the lunar surface. In a press conference from the Jeff Bezos-owned aerospace company, Brent Sherwood, vice president of advanced development programs, said Blue Origin will team up with legacy defense and aerospace contractors like Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and Draper to bring its lander, called Blue Moon, to fruition. It's partnership with those companies will help expedite the Blue Moon's production and also increase the odds that Blue Origin meets an ambitious 2024 deadline to return to the moon set by NASA. 'This is the kind of thing that is so ambitious, it needs to be done with partners,' said Bezos, who owns e-taling stalwart Amazon, at the 70th International Astronautical Congress held this week in Washington. 'This is the only way to get back to the Moon fast.'


Jeff Bezos' master plan

#artificialintelligence

What the Amazon founder and CEO wants for his empire and himself, and what that means for the rest of us. Where in the pantheon of American commercial titans does Jeffrey Bezos belong? Andrew Carnegie's hearths forged the steel that became the skeleton of the railroad and the city. John D. Rockefeller refined 90 percent of American oil, which supplied the pre-electric nation with light. Bill Gates created a program that was considered a prerequisite for turning on a computer. At 55, Bezos has never dominated a major market as thoroughly as any of these forebears, and while he is presently the richest man on the planet, he has less wealth than Gates did at his zenith. Yet Rockefeller largely contented himself with oil wells, pump stations, and railcars; Gates's fortune depended on an operating system. The scope of the empire the founder and CEO of Amazon has built is wider. Indeed, it is without precedent in the long history of American capitalism. More product searches are conducted ...


Jeff Bezos says space exploration is needed to 'save the Earth'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Jeff Bezos wants to colonize space in order to'save the Earth.' At Amazon's inaugural Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas, Bezos broke down how his rocket company, Blue Origin, could play a major role in the future of space exploration. Bezos recently unveiled Blue Origin's lunar lander, which is a key component of the company's plans to conduct space missions and explore the moon's surface. At Amazon's inaugural Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas, CEO Jeff Bezos broke down how his rocket company, Blue Origin, could play a major role in the future of space exploration The comments came during an interview with Jenny Freshwater, Amazon's director of forecasting. The interview was briefly disrupted by an animal rights protester, Priya Sawhney of Direct Action Everywhere, who grilled Bezos on the treatment of chickens at Amazon-affiliated farms, before being briskly whisked off stage.