Michael I. Jordan, Amazon scholar and professor at the University of California, Berkeley
Michael I. Jordan, Amazon scholar and professor at the University of California, Berkeley
Credit: Flavia Loreto

Artificial Intelligence—The revolution hasn’t happened yet

Michael I. Jordan, Amazon scholar and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, writes about the classical goals in human-imitative AI, and reflects on how in the current hubbub over the AI revolution it is easy to forget that these goals haven’t yet been achieved. This article is reprinted with permission from the Harvard Data Science Review, where it first appeared.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the mantra of the current era. The phrase is intoned by technologists, academicians, journalists, and venture capitalists alike. As with many phrases that cross over from technical academic fields into general circulation, there is significant misunderstanding accompanying use of the phrase. However, this is not the classical case of the public not understanding the scientists—here the scientists are often as befuddled as the public. The idea that our era is somehow seeing the emergence of an intelligence in silicon that rivals our own entertains all of us, enthralling us and frightening us in equal measure. And, unfortunately, it distracts us.

There is a different narrative that one can tell about the current era. Consider the following story, which involves humans, computers, data, and life-or-death decisions, but where the focus is something other than intelligence-in-silicon fantasies. When my spouse was pregnant 14 years ago, we had an ultrasound. There was a geneticist in the room, and she pointed out some white spots around the heart of the fetus. “Those are markers for Down syndrome,” she noted, “and your risk has now gone up to one in 20.” She let us know that we could learn whether the fetus in fact had the genetic modification underlying Down syndrome via an amniocentesis, but amniocentesis was risky—the chance of killing the fetus during the procedure was roughly one in 300. Being a statistician, I was determined to find out where these numbers were coming from. In my research, I discovered that a statistical analysis had been done a decade previously in the UK in which these white spots, which reflect calcium buildup, were indeed established as a predictor of Down syndrome. I also noticed that the imaging machine used in our test had a few hundred more pixels per square inch than the machine used in the UK study. I returned to tell the geneticist that I believed that the white spots were likely false positives, literal white noise.

She said, “Ah, that explains why we started seeing an uptick in Down syndrome diagnoses a few years ago. That’s when the new machine arrived.”

We didn’t do the amniocentesis, and my wife delivered a healthy girl a few months later, but the episode troubled me, particularly after a back-of-the-envelope calculation convinced me that many thousands of people had gotten that diagnosis that same day worldwide, that many of them had opted for amniocentesis, and that a number of babies had died needlessly. The problem that this episode revealed wasn’t about my individual medical care; it was about a medical system that measured variables and outcomes in various places and times, conducted statistical analyses, and made use of the results in other situations. The problem had to do not just with data analysis per se, but with what database researchers call provenance—broadly, where did data arise, what inferences were drawn from the data, and how relevant are those inferences to the present situation? While a trained human might be able to work all of this out on a case-by-case basis, the issue was that of designing a planetary-scale medical system that could do this without the need for such detailed human oversight.

I’m also a computer scientist, and it occurred to me that the principles needed to build planetary-scale inference-and-decision-making systems of this kind, blending computer science with statistics, and considering human utilities, were nowhere to be found in my education. It occurred to me that the development of such principles—which will be needed not only in the medical domain but also in domains such as commerce, transportation, and education—were at least as important as those of building AI systems that can dazzle us with their game-playing or sensorimotor skills.

Whether or not we come to understand ‘intelligence’ any time soon, we do have a major challenge on our hands in bringing together computers and humans in ways that enhance human life. While some view this challenge as subservient to the creation of artificial intelligence, another more prosaic, but no less reverent, viewpoint is that it is the creation of a new branch of engineering. Much like civil engineering and chemical engineering in decades past, this new discipline aims to corral the power of a few key ideas, bringing new resources and capabilities to people, and to do so safely. Whereas civil engineering and chemical engineering built upon physics and chemistry, this new engineering discipline will build on ideas that the preceding century gave substance to, such as information, algorithm, data, uncertainty, computing, inference, and optimization. Moreover, since much of the focus of the new discipline will be on data from and about humans, its development will require perspectives from the social sciences and humanities.

While the building blocks are in place, the principles for putting these blocks together are not, and so the blocks are currently being put together in ad-hoc ways. Thus, just as humans built buildings and bridges before there was civil engineering, humans are proceeding with the building of societal-scale, inference-and-decision-making systems that involve machines, humans, and the environment. Just as early buildings and bridges sometimes fell to the ground—in unforeseen ways and with tragic consequences—many of our early societal-scale inference-and-decision-making systems are already exposing serious conceptual flaws.

Unfortunately, we are not very good at anticipating what the next emerging serious flaw will be. What we’re missing is an engineering discipline with principles of analysis and design.

The current public dialog about these issues too often uses the term AI as an intellectual wildcard, one that makes it difficult to reason about the scope and consequences of emerging technology. Let us consider more carefully what AI has been used to refer to, both recently and historically.

Most of what is labeled AI today, particularly in the public sphere, is actually machine learning (ML), a term in use for the past several decades. ML is an algorithmic field that blends ideas from statistics, computer science and many other disciplines (see below) to design algorithms that process data, make predictions, and help make decisions. In terms of impact on the real world, ML is the real thing, and not just recently. Indeed, that ML would grow into massive industrial relevance was already clear in the early 1990s, and by the turn of the century forward-looking companies such as Amazon were already using ML throughout their business, solving mission-critical, back-end problems in fraud detection and supply-chain prediction, and building innovative consumer-facing services such as recommendation systems. As datasets and computing resources grew rapidly over the ensuing two decades, it became clear that ML would soon power not only Amazon but essentially any company in which decisions could be tied to large-scale data. New business models would emerge. The phrase ‘data science’ emerged to refer to this phenomenon, reflecting both the need of ML algorithms experts to partner with database and distributed-systems experts to build scalable, robust ML systems, as well as reflecting the larger social and environmental scope of the resulting systems.This confluence of ideas and technology trends has been rebranded as ‘AI’ over the past few years. This rebranding deserves some scrutiny.

Historically, the phrase “artificial intelligence” was coined in the late 1950s to refer to the heady aspiration of realizing in software and hardware an entity possessing human-level intelligence. I will use the phrase “human-imitative AI” to refer to this aspiration, emphasizing the notion that the artificially intelligent entity should seem to be one of us, if not physically then at least mentally (whatever that might mean). This was largely an academic enterprise. While related academic fields such as operations research, statistics, pattern recognition, information theory, and control theory already existed, and often took inspiration from human or animal behavior, these fields were arguably focused on low-level signals and decisions. The ability of, say, a squirrel to perceive the three-dimensional structure of the forest it lives in, and to leap among its branches, was inspirational to these fields. AI was meant to focus on something different: the high-level or cognitive capability of humans to reason and to think. Sixty years later, however, high-level reasoning and thought remain elusive. The developments now being called AI arose mostly in the engineering fields associated with low-level pattern recognition and movement control, as well as in the field of statistics, the discipline focused on finding patterns in data and on making well-founded predictions, tests of hypotheses, and decisions.

Indeed, the famous backpropagation algorithm that David Rumelhart rediscovered in the early 1980s, and which is now considered at the core of the so-called “AI revolution,” first arose in the field of control theory in the 1950s and 1960s. One of its early applications was to optimize the thrusts of the Apollo spaceships as they headed towards the moon.

Since the 1960s, much progress has been made, but it has arguably not come about from the pursuit of human-imitative AI. Rather, as in the case of the Apollo spaceships, these ideas have often hidden behind the scenes, the handiwork of researchers focused on specific engineering challenges. Although not visible to the general public, research and systems-building in areas such as document retrieval, text classification, fraud detection, recommendation systems, personalized search, social network analysis, planning, diagnostics, and A/B testing have been a major success—these advances have powered companies such as Google, Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon.

One could simply refer to all of this as AI, and indeed that is what appears to have happened. Such labeling may come as a surprise to optimization or statistics researchers, who find themselves suddenly called AI researchers, but labels aside, the bigger problem is that the use of this single, ill-defined acronym prevents a clear understanding of the range of intellectual and commercial issues at play.

The past two decades have seen major progress—in industry and academia—in a complementary aspiration to human-imitative AI that is often referred to as “Intelligence Augmentation” (IA). Here computation and data are used to create services that augment human intelligence and creativity. A search engine can be viewed as an example of IA, as it augments human memory and factual knowledge, as can natural language translation, which augments the ability of a human to communicate. Computer-based generation of sounds and images serves as a palette and creativity enhancer for artists. While services of this kind could conceivably involve high-level reasoning and thought, currently they don’t; they mostly perform various kinds of string-matching and numerical operations that capture patterns that humans can make use of.

Hoping that the reader will tolerate one last acronym, let us conceive broadly of a discipline of “Intelligent Infrastructure” (II), whereby a web of computation, data, and physical entities exists that makes human environments more supportive, interesting, and safe. Such infrastructure is beginning to make its appearance in domains such as transportation, medicine, commerce, and finance, with implications for individual humans and societies. This emergence sometimes arises in conversations about an Internet of Things, but that effort generally refers to the mere problem of getting ‘things’ onto the Internet, not to the far grander set of challenges associated with building systems that analyze those data streams to discover facts about the world and permit ‘things’ to interact with humans at a far higher level of abstraction than mere bits.

For example, returning to my personal anecdote, we might imagine living our lives in a societal-scale medical system that sets up data flows and data-analysis flows between doctors and devices positioned in and around human bodies, thereby able to aid human intelligence in making diagnoses and providing care. The system would incorporate information from cells in the body, DNA, blood tests, environment, population genetics, and the vast scientific literature on drugs and treatments. It would not just focus on a single patient and a doctor, but on relationships among all humans, just as current medical testing allows experiments done on one set of humans (or animals) to be brought to bear in the care of other humans. It would help maintain notions of relevance, provenance, and reliability, in the way that the current banking system focuses on such challenges in the domain of finance and payment. While one can foresee many problems arising in such a system—privacy issues, liability issues, security issues, etc.—these concerns should be viewed as challenges, not show-stoppers.

We now come to a critical issue: is working on classical human-imitative AI the best or only way to focus on these larger challenges? Some of the most heralded recent success stories of ML have in fact been in areas associated with human-imitative AI—areas such as computer vision, speech recognition, game-playing, and robotics. Perhaps we should simply await further progress in domains such as these. There are two points to make here. First, although one would not know it from reading the newspapers, success in human-imitative AI has in fact been limited; we are very far from realizing human-imitative AI aspirations. The thrill (and fear) of making even limited progress on human-imitative AI gives rise to levels of over-exuberance and media attention that is not present in other areas of engineering.

Second, and more importantly, success in these domains is neither sufficient nor necessary to solve important IA and II problems. On the sufficiency side, consider self-driving cars. For such technology to be realized, a range of engineering problems will need to be solved that may have little relationship to human competencies (or human lack-of-competencies). The overall transportation system (an II system) will likely more closely resemble the current air-traffic control system than the current collection of loosely coupled, forward-facing, inattentive human drivers. It will be vastly more complex than the current air-traffic control system, specifically in its use of massive amounts of data and adaptive statistical modeling to inform fine-grained decisions. Those challenges need to be in the forefront versus a potentially distracting focus on human-imitative AI.

As for the necessity argument, some say that the human-imitative AI aspiration subsumes IA and II aspirations, because a human-imitative AI system would not only be able to solve the classical problems of AI (e.g., as embodied in the Turing test), but it would also be our best bet for solving IA and II problems. Such an argument has little historical precedent. Did civil engineering develop by envisaging the creation of an artificial carpenter or bricklayer? Should chemical engineering have been framed in terms of creating an artificial chemist? Even more polemically: if our goal was to build chemical factories, should we have first created an artificial chemist who would have then worked out how to build a chemical factory?

A related argument is that human intelligence is the only kind of intelligence we know, thus we should aim to mimic it as a first step. However, humans are in fact not very good at some kinds of reasoning—we have our lapses, biases, and limitations. Moreover, critically, we did not evolve to perform the kinds of large-scale decision-making that modern II systems must face, nor to cope with the kinds of uncertainty that arise in II contexts. One could argue that an AI system would not only imitate human intelligence, but also correct it, and would also scale to arbitrarily large problems. Of course, we are now in the realm of science fiction—such speculative arguments, while entertaining in the setting of fiction, should not be our principal strategy going forward in the face of the critical IA and II problems that are beginning to emerge. We need to solve IA and II problems on their own merits, not as a mere corollary to a human-imitative AI agenda.

It is not hard to pinpoint algorithmic and infrastructure challenges in II systems that are not central themes in human-imitative AI research. II systems require the ability to manage distributed repositories of knowledge that are rapidly changing and are likely to be globally incoherent. Such systems must cope with cloud-edge interactions in making timely, distributed decisions, and they must deal with long-tail phenomena where there is lots of data on some individuals and little data on most individuals. They must address the difficulties of sharing data across administrative and competitive boundaries. Finally, and of particular importance, II systems must bring economic ideas such as incentives and pricing into the realm of the statistical and computational infrastructures that link humans to each other and to valued goods. Such II systems can be viewed as not merely providing a service, but as creating markets. There are domains such as music, literature, and journalism that are crying out for the emergence of such markets, where data analysis links producers and consumers. And this must all be done within the context of evolving societal, ethical, and legal norms.

Of course, classical human-imitative AI problems remain of great interest as well. However, the current focus on doing AI research via the gathering of data, the deployment of deep learning infrastructure, and the demonstration of systems that mimic certain narrowly defined human skills—with little in the way of emerging explanatory principles—tends to deflect attention from major open problems in classical AI. These problems include the need to bring meaning and reasoning into systems that perform natural language processing, the need to infer and represent causality, the need to develop computationally tractable representations of uncertainty and the need to develop systems that formulate and pursue long-term goals. These are classical goals in human-imitative AI, but in the current hubbub over the AI revolution it is easy to forget that they are not yet solved.

IA will also remain quite essential, because for the foreseeable future, computers will not be able to match humans in their ability to reason abstractly about real-world situations. We will need well-thought-out interactions of humans and computers to solve our most pressing problems. And we will want computers to trigger new levels of human creativity, not replace human creativity (whatever that might mean).

It was John McCarthy (while a professor at Dartmouth, and soon to take a position at MIT) who coined the term AI, apparently to distinguish his budding research agenda from that of Norbert Wiener (then an older professor at MIT). Wiener had coined “cybernetics” to refer to his own vision of intelligent systems—a vision that was closely tied to operations research, statistics, pattern recognition, information theory, and control theory. McCarthy, on the other hand, emphasized the ties to logic. In an interesting reversal, it is Wiener’s intellectual agenda that has come to dominate in the current era, under the banner of McCarthy’s terminology. (This state of affairs is surely, however, only temporary; the pendulum swings more in AI than in most fields.)

Beyond the historical perspectives of McCarthy and Wiener, we need to realize that the current public dialog on AI—which focuses on narrow subsets of both industry and of academia—risks blinding us to the challenges and opportunities that are presented by the full scope of AI, IA, and II.

This scope is less about the realization of science-fiction dreams or superhuman nightmares, and more about the need for humans to understand and shape technology as it becomes ever more present and influential in their daily lives. Moreover, in this understanding and shaping, there is a need for a diverse set of voices from all walks of life, not merely a dialog among the technologically attuned. Focusing narrowly on human-imitative AI prevents an appropriately wide range of voices from being heard.

While industry will drive many developments, academia will also play an essential role, not only in providing some of the most innovative technical ideas, but also in bringing researchers from the computational and statistical disciplines together with researchers from other disciplines whose contributions and perspectives are sorely needed—notably the social sciences, the cognitive sciences, and the humanities.

On the other hand, while the humanities and the sciences are essential as we go forward, we should also not pretend that we are talking about something other than an engineering effort of unprecedented scale and scope; society is aiming to build new kinds of artifacts. These artifacts should be built to work as claimed. We do not want to build systems that help us with medical treatments, transportation options, and commercial opportunities only to find out after the fact that these systems don’t really work, that they make errors that take their toll in terms of human lives and happiness. In this regard, as I have emphasized, there is an engineering discipline yet to emerge for the data- and learning-focused fields. As exciting as these latter fields appear to be, they cannot yet be viewed as constituting an engineering discipline.

We should embrace the fact that we are witnessing the creation of a new branch of engineering. The term engineering has connotations—in academia and beyond—of cold, affectless machinery, and of loss of control for humans, but an engineering discipline can be what we want it to be. In the current era, we have a real opportunity to conceive of something historically new: a human-centric engineering discipline. I will resist giving this emerging discipline a name, but if the acronym AI continues to serve as placeholder nomenclature going forward, let’s be aware of the very real limitations of this placeholder. Let’s broaden our scope, tone down the hype, and recognize the serious challenges ahead.


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Do you want to join Alexa AI -- the science team behind Amazon’s intelligence voice assistance system? Do you want to utilize cutting-edge deep-learning and machine learning algorithms to delight millions of Alexa users around the world?If your answers to these questions are “yes”, then come join the Alexa Artificial Intelligence team. We are responsible for the deep learning technology that is central to the automated ranking and arbitration to optimize for end-to-end customer satisfaction.As an Applied Science Manager you will lead the science efforts to develop novel algorithms and modeling techniques to advance the state of the art in spoken language understanding. You will also:· Build a strong and coherent team with particular focus on automated ranking and arbitration, sciences, and innovation.· Serve as a technical lead on demanding and cross-team projects, and effectively collaborating with multiple cross-organizational teams· Apply technical influence on partner teams, increasing their productivity by sharing your deep knowledge.
US, WA, Seattle
Are you interested in delighting customers and are passionate about promoting sustainability? Then Amazon’s Packaging Team is the place for you. We are the Customer Packaging EXperience (CPEX) team and we optimize Amazon’s packaging solutions. To do this across billions of shipments, we are looking for someone with statistics and machine learning skills to design, test, implement and maintain packaging decision mechanisms across Amazon.You'll be responsible for the design, implementation, operation, and support of large-scale, performance-critical data science and machine learning systems which help to choose the optimal packaging types for our products. These technologies utilize every quadrant of data science including statistics, NLP, and CV to make the right decision on millions of products. You will work with scientists, software developers, business intelligence engineers, and product managers on our team as well as partner with packaging automation, concessions, and sustainability teams.
US, WA, Seattle
Have you ever ordered a product on Amazon and wondered how that box with a smile arrived at your doorstep so fast? Wondered where it came from and how much it cost Amazon? If so, the Amazon Global Supply Chain Optimization organization is for you.Watch this video to learn more about our organization, SCOT: http://bit.ly/amazon-scotWe are the most customer-centric company on Earth. We need exceptionally talented, bright, and driven people to continue to raise the bar on customer experience.Our objective is to build an experience where you can find and buy anything online and have it delivered fast! We continue to innovate with delivery speed initiatives so that Amazon will continue to own ‘fast’ in the minds of our customers. We are looking for a dynamic, organized self-starter to join as a Research Scientist, who will create state of the art models on Speed initiatives and programs and develop the measurement criteria for success.The AIM (Automated Inventory Management) team in the Supply Chain Optimization Technologies (SCOT) organization is dedicated to answering key strategic questions using quantitative and statistical methods. We develop cutting edge data pipelines, build accurate predictive models, and deploy automated software solutions to provide insights to business leaders at the most senior levels throughout the company. We are looking for a talented, driven, and analytical researcher to help us answer these strategic questions.The AIM Science team leads the way in developing innovative models, algorithms and strategies that will help us gain insights into how our business will grow and what will the drivers of such growth. These predictive models and insights will be based along products and product categories, customer segments, regions and locations, etc.This Research Scientist role will explore and develop innovative quantitative approaches and models, generate features, test hypotheses, design experiments, build predictive models, and work with very large complex data sets in order to explore relationship between business outcomes and key drivers, and then predict the trend on those business outcomes. These predictions and insights will provide a foundation of the highest level of visibility and importance for Amazon's financial and operational planning. The successful candidate will be a problem solver who enjoys diving into data, is excited by difficult modeling challenges, and possesses strong communication skills to effectively interface between technical and business teams, working together with Software Engineers, Product Managers, Business Analysts and other Scientists.Key Responsibilities:· Research, develop and build predictive models for Amazon business metrics with the goal of higher customer satisfactions. Analyze and research features and engineer features that help support predictive models to connect the dots among different functions such as inventory, speed of delivery, and best selections.. Provide insights by analyzing historical data· Constructively critique peer research and mentor junior scientists and engineers.· Create experiments and prototype implementations of new learning algorithms and prediction techniques.· Collaborate with engineering teams to design and implement software solutions for science problems.· Contribute to progress of the Amazon and broader research communities by producing publications.Amazon is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation.
IN, KA, Bangalore
Amazon is investing heavily in building a world class advertising business and we are responsible for defining and delivering a collection of self-service performance advertising products that drive discovery and sales. Our products are strategically important to our Retail and Marketplace businesses driving long term growth. We deliver billions of ad impressions and millions of clicks daily and are breaking fresh ground to create world-class products. We are highly motivated, collaborative and fun-loving with an entrepreneurial spirit and bias for action. With a broad mandate to experiment and innovate, we are growing at an unprecedented rate with a seemingly endless range of new opportunities.The Moderation and Relevance System (MARS) team, based in Bangalore, is responsible for ensuring that ads are relevant and is of good quality, leading to higher conversion for the sellers and providing a great experience for the customers. We deal with one of the world’s largest product catalog, handle billions of requests a day with plans to grow it by order of magnitude and use automated systems to validate tens of millions of offers submitted by thousands of merchants in multiple countries and languages.In this role, you will build and develop ML models to address content intelligence problems, build advanced algorithms in detecting and generating content. These models will rely on a variety of visual and textual features requiring expertise in both domains. These models need to scale to multiple languages and countries. You will collaborate with engineers and other scientists to build, train and deploy these models. You will propose hypotheses, validate these offline and run A/B tests to validate them online. As part of these activities, you will develop production level code that enables moderation of millions of ads submitted each day.
AU, VIC, Melbourne
Amazon delights millions of customers around the world. Meet the behind the scenes team that enables our Human Resource and Operations Leaders to make informed decisions. The Amazon PeopleInsight team builds reporting and analytics tools for our teams that fulfill customer promise every day. Whether it is Fulfillment Center team that delivers your Prime order in two days, our Amazon Locker team that lets you pick up your package anytime that is convenient for you, our Prime Now team getting you lunch in under an hour, or one of many more, the PeopleInsight group is there providing people metrics along the employee lifecycle for our global operations businesses. The PeopleInsight team is a collaborative group of Business Analysts, Business Intelligence Engineers, Data Engineers, Data Scientists, Product Managers, and Program Managers dedicated to empowering leaders and enabling action through data and science. We deliver workforce, associate experience, and leadership insights so Amazon leaders can focus their efforts in ways that will engage, retain and grow their associates.We are now recruiting for an exceptional Data Scientist, Worldwide OperationsThe ideal candidate will be:· A Well-Rounded Athlete –Like a true athlete, you understand that we succeed or fail as a team. You are always ready to step up beyond your core responsibilities and go the extra mile for the project and your team. You nimbly overcome barriers to deliver the best products more quickly than expected.· A Perpetual Student – You seek knowledge and insight. You challenge yourself to turn moments into master’s classes. Whether closing a gap, developing a new skill, or staying ahead of your industry, you revel in the joy of learning and growing.· A Skilled Communicator – You excel when interacting with business and technical partners whether you are chatting, sending a written message, or conducting a presentation.· A Trusted Advisor – You work closely with stakeholders to define key business needs and deliver on commitments. You enable effective decision making by retrieving and aggregating data from multiple sources and compiling it into a digestible and actionable format.· An Inventor at Heart – You innovate on behalf of your customer by proactively implementing improvements, enhancements, and customizations. Your customers marvel at your creative solutions to challenges they had not yet identified.· A Fearless Explorer – You are drawn to take on the hardest problems, navigate ambiguity, and battle skepticism. You never settle, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles.Roles and ResponsibilitiesSuccess in this role will include influencing within your team and mentoring peers. The problems you will consider will be difficult to solve and often require a range of data science methodologies combined with subject matter expertise. You will need to be capable of gathering and using complex data set across domains. You will deliver artifacts on medium size projects, define the methodology, and own the analysis. Your findings will affect important business decisions. Solutions are testable and reproducible. You will create documents and share findings in line with scientific best practices for both technical and nontechnical audiences.Amazon is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation.
US, CA, Virtual Location - California
The Amazon Economics Team is hiring Interns in Economics. We are looking for detail-oriented, organized, and responsible individuals who are eager to learn how to work with large and complicated data sets. Some knowledge of econometrics, as well as basic familiarity with Stata or R is necessary, and experience with SQL, UNIX, and Sawtooth would be a plus.These are full-time positions at 40 hours per week, with compensation being awarded on an hourly basis. You will learn how to build data sets and perform applied econometric analysis at Internet speed collaborating with economists, data scientists and MBAʼs. These skills will translate well into writing applied chapters in your dissertation and provide you with work experience that may help you with placement.Roughly 50% of research assistants from previous cohorts have converted to full time data science or economics employment at Amazon. If you are interested, please send your CV to our mailing list at econ-internship@amazon.com.Amazon is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation
US, CA, Palo Alto
The Amazon Search team creates powerful, customer-focused search and advertising solutions and technologies. Whenever a customer visits an Amazon site worldwide and types in a query or browses through product categories, A9 Product Search services go to work. We design, develop, and deploy high performance, fault-tolerant distributed search systems used by millions of Amazon customers every day. Our Search team works to maximize the quality and trustworthiness of the search experience for visitors to Amazon websites worldwide.Our mission is to provide customers' trust and confidence in Amazon Search shopping experience. We identify problems that are customer trust busters at Amazon, deliver scalable and responsive solutions to these issues, and build experiences that gain customer trust using advanced machine learning methods. We carefully monitor the trustworthiness of the search results and dive deep when we see an unusual pattern. Most of the models used by our team is semi-supervised or unsupervised using small amount of labeled data.In this role you will leverage your strong statistical background to help build the next generation of our machine learning methods to discover untrustworthy search engagements, unsual patterns, and estimate a probability of risk for each item. This role requires a pragmatic technical leader comfortable with ambiguity, capable of summarizing complex data and models through clear visual and written explanations. The ideal candidate will have experience with machine learning models, graph algorithms, and information retrieval algorithms at scale. Additionally, we are seeking candidates with strong rigor in applied sciences and engineering, creativity, curiosity, and great judgment.
IN, KA, Bengaluru
Do you want to join an innovative team of scientists who use machine learning and statistical techniques to create state-of-the-art solutions for providing better value to Amazon’s customers? Do you want to build and deploy advanced algorithmic systems that help optimize millions of transactions every day? Are you excited by the prospect of analyzing and modeling terabytes of data to solve real world problems? Do you like to own end-to-end business problems/metrics and directly impact the profitability of the company? Do you like to innovate and simplify? If yes, then you may be a great fit to join the Machine Learning and Data Sciences team for India Consumer Businesses.If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, know how to deliver, love to work with data, are deeply technical, highly innovative and long for the opportunity to build solutions to challenging problems that directly impact the company's bottom-line, we want to talk to you.Major responsibilities· · Use machine learning and analytical techniques to create scalable solutions for business problems· · Analyze and extract relevant information from large amounts of Amazon’s historical business data to help automate and optimize key processes· · Design, development, evaluate and deploy innovative and highly scalable models for predictive learning· · Research and implement novel machine learning and statistical approaches· · Work closely with software engineering teams to drive real-time model implementations and new feature creations· · Work closely with business owners and operations staff to optimize various business operations· · Establish scalable, efficient, automated processes for large scale data analyses, model development, model validation and model implementation· · Mentor other scientists and engineers in the use of ML techniques
US, MA, Cambridge
MULTIPLE POSITIONS AVAILABLEEntity: Amazon.com Services LLCJob Title: Applied Scientist IILocation: Cambridge, MAPosition Responsibilities:Designing, developing, evaluating, deploying, and updating data-driven models and analytical solutions for speech and language understanding applications. Developing practical solutions to complex problems. Translating business and functional requirements into concrete deliverables and building quick prototypes or proofs of concept with team members. Solving technical challenges related to speech and language understanding technologies. Mentoring junior engineers and scientists.Amazon.com is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation #0000
US, CA, Palo Alto
The Amazon Search team creates powerful, customer-focused search technologies. Whenever a customer visits an Amazon site worldwide and types in a query or browses through product categories, Product Search services go to work. We design, develop, and deploy high performance, fault-tolerant distributed search systems used by millions of Amazon customers every day. Our team works to maximize the quality and trustworthiness of the search experience for visitors to Amazon websites worldwide.Our mission is to provide a confident shopping experience for all Amazon Search customers. We identify problems that are customer trust busters, deliver scalable and responsive solutions to these issues using advanced machine learning techniques, and build experiences that gain customer trust. We carefully monitor the search results and dive deep when we see an unusual patterns of engagement to detect any form of abuse.In this role you will lead the search abuse mitigation team to build and deploy the next generation of our machine learning methods to discover untrustworthy search engagements, unusual patterns, and reduce the customer search impressions on untrustworthy items. You should be comfortable in operating with large amounts of data, web scale infrastructure, and distributed platforms. This role requires a pragmatic technical leader to deal with ambiguity, capable of summarizing complex data and models through clear visual and written explanations. The ideal candidate will have experience implemented and worked with scientists/engineers to develop machine learning, graph, or information retrieval algorithms at scale and deploy them to production. Additionally, we are seeking candidates with strong rigor in engineering, creativity, curiosity, and great judgment.
US, WA, Bellevue
Amazon aims to exceed the expectations of our customers by ensuring that their orders, no matter how large or small, are delivered as quickly, accurately, and cost effectively as possible. To meet this goal, Amazon has invested in Amazon Logistics, a world class last mile operation. We are looking for a dynamic, resourceful, and organized Data Scientist within Amazon Logistics’ Amazon Flex organization to develop the right data-driven solutions to support the most critical components of this rapidly scaling operation.As part of the Driver Science team, you’ll partner closely with Science, Product, and Program teams to design of new and innovative solutions to organizational and business problems, using statistical best practices to justify design decisions using data. You will be expected to be a subject matter expert in quantitative analysis and to communicate highly complex findings to multiple audiences. You may come from one of many different types of quantitative backgrounds, but you must be comfortable with multiple modeling techniques such as linear and logistic regression, supervised and unsupervised clustering and segmentation, and forecasting. You will be able to acquire new techniques with practice, and be willing to show flexibility in finding the right technique to match the research problem.In addition to designing meaningful research questions and analyzing the resulting data, you must be able to see a full loop vision that goes beyond experimentation to conceptualizing design solutions, collaborating closely with multiple teams to ensure the relevance and impact of your work to business stakeholders. You will be responsible for developing new predictive and optimization models, as well as algorithms for key applications and discovering new ways to solve organizational problems. Successful candidates will have a deep knowledge of quantitative modelling in at least one area (ML, optimization, multivariate statistics), the ability to build and refine prototype models that can be implemented in production, the communication skills necessary to explain complex technical approaches to a variety of stakeholders and customers, and the excitement to take iterative approaches to tackle big, long-term problems.Key Responsibilities:· Conceptualize and lead global research initiatives· Guide the technical approach for the design and implementation of successful models and algorithms in support of expert cross-functional teams delivering on demanding projects.· Functionally decompose complex problems into simple, straight-forward solutions.· Share deep knowledge in statistics, machine learning, multivariate modeling, or optimization research applicable to our problem space.