The Jeuns

AI Visionary Joins Amazon’s Board

April 12, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Amazon has announced the addition of artificial intelligence expert Andrew Ng to its board of directors, signaling a focus on AI innovation amid fierce competition in the industry. Ng, who currently serves as managing director at the AI Fund in Palo Alto, California, will take over a vacant seat previously held by former MTV CEO Judy McGrath.

The AI Fund, founded by Ng in 2017, invests in startups that specialize in artificial intelligence technologies. Ng’s experience includes leading AI teams at notable tech companies such as Baidu and Google, where he oversaw groundbreaking projects like teaching a computer system to identify objects like cats in YouTube videos without explicit training.

Amazon’s strategic move comes as the company ramps up investments in generative artificial intelligence, with a recent billion investment in San Francisco-based startup Anthropic. This partnership aims to develop foundational models essential for advancing generative AI capabilities. Additionally, Amazon has introduced innovative AI-powered solutions like the Q chatbot for businesses and the Rufus shopping assistant.

In a shareholder letter, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy emphasized the potential of generative AI as a pivotal aspect of the company’s future business endeavors, alongside its established online marketplace, Prime subscription service, and cloud computing arm, AWS. Jassy noted that generative AI could represent a significant technological evolution comparable to the impact of cloud computing and the internet.

Despite these advancements, Amazon recently faced setbacks with its Just Walk Out technology in Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. The company announced plans to replace the technology following customer feedback, opting for smart carts that enable a seamless checkout experience while providing real-time spending updates.

Overall, Amazon’s strategic focus on AI innovation and investments in cutting-edge technologies position the company for continued growth and advancement in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

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