Drone flying over a massive field
Amazon

Drones Unleashed

U.S. regulators for the first time allowed commercial operators of autonomous aerial vehicles to fly out of operators’ sight. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration authorized drone maker American Robotics to fly without requirement.
2 min read
Bookstack and wrapping paper
Amazon

Writer’s Unblock

Neural networks for natural language processing got bigger, more prolific, and more fun to play with. Language models, which already had grown to gargantuan size, continued to swell, yielding chatbots that mimic AI luminaries and have very strange ideas about horses.
1 min read
Robotaxi in different angles
Amazon

Robotaxi Reimagined

A new breed of self-driving car could kick the autonomous-vehicle industry into a higher gear. Zoox unveiled its first product, an all-electric, driverless taxi designed fully in-house.
2 min read
Alexa device and information about its new skill called natural turn-talking
Amazon

Alexa, Read My Lips

Amazon’s digital assistant is using its eyes as well as its ears to figure out who’s talking. At its annual hardware showcase, Amazon introduced an Alexa skill that melds acoustic, linguistic, and visual cues to help the system keep track of individual speakers and topics of conversation.
1 min read
Information and data related to Category-based Subspace Attention Network (CSA-Net)
Amazon

Which Shoes Go With That Outfit?

Need a wardrobe upgrade? You could ask the fashion mavens at Netflix’s Queer Eye — or you could use a new neural network. Researchers at Amazon propose Category-based Subspace Attention Network (CSA-Net) to predict and retrieve compatible garments and accessories that complement one another.
2 min read
Examples of clothes image-text combo search
Amazon

That Online Boutique, But Smarter

Why search for “a cotton dress shirt with button-down collar, breast pockets, barrel cuffs, scooped hem, and tortoise shell buttons in grey” when a photo and the words “that shirt, but grey” will do the trick? A new network understands the image-text combo.
2 min read
Operation of a virtual fitting room
Amazon

Clothes Make the Model

In online retailing, the most common customer complaints are slow shipping and inability to try on clothes. Amazon conceived its Prime program to address the first concern. To answer the second, it built a virtual fitting room.
2 min read
Face recognition system in a supermarket
Amazon

Tech Giants Face Off With Police

Three of the biggest AI vendors pledged to stop providing face recognition services to police — but other companies continue to serve the law-enforcement market.
1 min read
Partnership in AI, Amazon, Baidu, Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft logos
Amazon

Baidu Leaves Partnership on AI

Baidu backed out of a U.S.-led effort to promote ethics in AI, leaving the project without a Chinese presence. The Beijing-based search giant withdrew from the Partnership on AI, a consortium that promotes cooperation on issues like digital privacy and algorithmic bias.
1 min read
Illustration of Amazon Alexa with a question mark inside of a thought bubble
Amazon

What Were We Talking About?

Conversational agents have a tough job following the zigs and zags of human conversation. They’re getting better at it — thanks to yesterday’s technology. Amazon recently improved the Alexa chatbot’s ability to identify the current topic of conversation.
1 min read
Pumpjacks extracting oil during sunset
Amazon

Do Oil and Algorithms Mix?

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are developing machine learning tools for the fossil fuel industry even as they pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
2 min read
Supermarket empty shelves
Amazon

New Behaviors Derail Old Training

The pandemic has radically altered online shopping behavior, throwing a wrench into many AI systems. AI inventory trackers, recommendation algorithms, and fraud detection systems trained on pre-pandemic consumer behavior have been flummoxed by the different ways people now browse, binge, and buy.
1 min read
Illustration of a crystal snowball
Amazon

Simulation Substitutes for Data

The future of machine learning may depend less on amassing ground-truth data than simulating the environment in which a model will operate. Deep learning works like magic with enough high-quality data. When examples are scarce, though, researchers are using simulation to fill the gap.
1 min read
Excerpt from Ring commercial
Amazon

Neighborhood Watchers

Smart doorbell maker Ring has built its business by turning neighborhoods into surveillance networks. Now the company is drawing fire for using private data without informing customers and sharing data with police.
2 min read
Booksby.ai book covers created by AI
Amazon

Who’s Minding the Store?

Amazon, watch your back. There’s a new player in the book business and, unlike Jeff Bezos, it doesn’t need eight hours of sleep a night. The online bookstore Booksby.ai is run entirely by AI. Neural networks write the books, create the cover art, price the merchandise, even write the reviews.
1 min read

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