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3 important themes from Amazon's 2019 NeurIPS papers

Time series forecasting, bandit problems, and optimization are integral to Amazon's efforts to deliver better value for its customers.

Last year, the first 2,000-2,500 publicly released tickets to the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, or NeurIPS, sold out in 12 minutes.

This year, the conference organizers moved to a lottery system, allowing aspiring attendees to register in advance and randomly selecting invitees from the pool of registrants. But they also bumped the number of public-release tickets up from around 2,000 to 3,500, testifying to the conference’s continued popularity.

At NeurIPS this year, there are 26 papers with Amazon coauthors. They cover a wide range of topics, but surveying their titles, Alex Smola, a vice president and distinguished scientist in the Amazon Web Services organization, discerns three prominent themes, all tied to Amazon’s efforts to deliver better value for its customers.

Those three themes are time series forecasting (and causality), bandit problems, and optimization.

1. Time series forecasting

Time series forecasting involves measuring some quantity over time — such as the number of deliveries in a particular region in the past six months, or the number of cloud servers required to support a particular site over the past two years — and attempting to project that quantity into the future.

“That’s something that is very dear to Amazon’s heart,” Smola says. “For anything that Amazon does, it’s really beneficial to have a good estimate of what our customers will expect from us ahead of time. Only by being able to do that will we be able to satisfy customers’ demands, be it for products or services.”

A sequence of basis time series, forecast into the near future and summed together to approximate a new time series.
The paper “Think Globally, Act Locally” examines data sets with many correlated time series, such as the demand curves for millions of products sold online. The researchers describe a method for constructing a much smaller set of “basis time series”; the time series for any given product can be approximated by a weighted sum of the bases.
Courtesy of the researchers

The basic mathematical framework for time series forecasting is a century old, but the scale of modern forecasting problems calls for new analytic techniques, Smola says.

“Problems are nowadays highly multivariate,” Smola says. “If you look at the many millions of products that we offer, you want to be able to predict fairly well what will sell, where and to whom.

“You need to make reasonable assumptions on how this very large problem can be decomposed into smaller, more tractable pieces. You make structural approximations, and sometimes those structural approximations are what leads to very different algorithms.

“So you might, for instance, have a global model, and then you have local models that address the specific items or address the specific sales. If you look at ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’” — a NeurIPS paper whose first author is Rajat Sen, an applied scientist in the Amazon Search group — “it’s already in the title. Or look at ‘High-Dimensional Multivariate Forecasting with Low-Rank Gaussian Copula Processes’. In this case, you have a global structure, but it’s only in a small subspace where interesting things happen.”

Side-by-side images depict correlations between taxi traffic at different points in Manhattan at different times of day
The paper "High-Dimensional Multivariate Forecasting with Low-Rank Gaussian Copula Processes" describes a method for predicting correlations among many parallel time series. In one example, the researchers forecast correlations between the taxi traffic at different points in New York City at different times of day. Red lines indicate strong correlations; blue lines indicate strong negative correlations. Weekend midday traffic patterns (left) show negative correlations between locations near the Empire State Building, suggesting that taxis tend to prefer different routes depending on traffic conditions. Weekend evening traffic patterns show positive correlations between the vicinity of the Empire State Building and areas with high concentrations of hotels.
Courtesy of the researchers

An aspect of forecasting that has recently been drawing more attention, Smola says, is causality. Where traditional machine learning models merely infer statistical correlations between data points, “it is ultimately the causal relationship that matters,” Smola says.

“I think that causality is one of the most interesting conceptual developments affecting modern machine learning,” says Bernhard Schölkopf, like Smola a vice president and distinguished scientist in Amazon Web Services. “This is the main topic that I have been interested in for the last decade.”

Two of Schölkopf’s NeurIPS papers — “Perceiving the Arrow of Time in Autoregressive Motion” and “Selecting Causal Brain Features with a Single Conditional Independence Test per Feature” — address questions of causality, as does “Causal Regularization”, a paper by Dominik Janzing, a senior research scientist in Smola’s group.

“Normal machine learning builds on correlations of other statistical dependences,” Schölkopf explains. “This is fine as long as the source of the data doesn't change. For example, if in the training set of an image recognition system, all cows are standing on green pasture, then it is fine for an ML system to use the green as a useful feature in recognizing cows, as long as the test set looks the same. If in the test set, the cows are standing on the beach, then such a purely statistical system can fail.

“More generally: causal learning and inference attempts to understand how systems respond to interventions and other changes, and not just how to predict data that looks more or less the same as the training data.”

2. Bandit problems

The second major theme that Smola discerns in Amazon scientists’ NeurIPS papers is a concern with bandit problems, a phrase that shows up in the titles of Amazon papers such as “MaxGap Bandit: Adaptive Algorithms for Approximate Ranking” and “Low-Rank Bandit Methods for High-Dimensional Dynamic Pricing”. Bandit problems take their name from one-armed bandits, or slot machines.

“It used to be that those bandits were all mechanical, so there would be slight variations between them, and some would have maybe a slightly a higher return than others,” Smola explains. “I walk into a den of iniquity, and I want to find the one-armed bandit where I will lose the least money or maybe make some money. And the only feedback I have is that I pull arms, and I get money or lose money. These are very unreliable, noisy events.”

Bandit problems present what’s known as an explore-exploit trade-off. The gambler must simultaneously explore the environment — determine which machines pay out the most — and exploit the resulting knowledge — concentrate as much money as possible on the high-return machines. Early work on bandit problems concerned identifying the high-return machines with minimal outlays.

“That problem was solved about 20 years ago,” Smola says. “What hasn’t been solved — and this is where things get a lot more interesting — is once you start adding context. Imagine that I get to show you various results as you’re searching for your next ugly Christmas sweater. The unfortunate thing is that the creativity of sweater designers is larger than what you can fit on a page. Now the context is essentially, what time, where from, which user, all those things. We want to find and recommend the ugly Christmas sweater that works specifically for you. This is an example where context is immediately relevant.”

It’s really beneficial to have a good estimate of what our customers will expect from us ahead of time. Only by being able to do that will we be able to satisfy customers’ demands.
Alex Smola, VP and distinguished scientist, Amazon

In the bandit-problem framework, in other words, the high-payout machines change with every new interaction. But there may be external signals that indicate how they’re changing.

Distributed computing, which is inescapable for today’s large websites, changes the structure of the bandit problem, too.

“Say you go to a restaurant, and the cook wants to improve the menu,” Smola says. “You can try out lots of new menu items, and that’s a good way to improve the menu overall. But if you start offering a lot of undercooked dishes because you’re experimenting, then at some point your loyal customers will stay away.

“Now imagine you have 100 restaurants, and they all do the same thing at the same time. They can’t necessarily communicate at the per-second level; maybe every day or every week they chat with each other. Now this entire exploration problem becomes a little more challenging, because if two restaurants try out the same undercooked dish, you make the customer less happy than you could have.

“So how does this map back into Amazon land? Well, if you have many servers doing this recommendation, the explore-exploit trade-off might be too aggressive if every one of them works on their own.”

3. Optimization

Finally, Smola says, “There is a third category of results that has to do with making algorithms faster. If you look at ‘Primal-Dual Block Frank-Wolfe’, ‘Communication-Efficient Distributed SGD with Sketching’, ‘Qsparse-Local-SGD’ — those are the workhorses that run underneath all of this. Making them more efficient is obviously something that we care about, so we can respond to customer requests faster, train algorithms faster.”

Bird’s-eye view

NeurIPS is a huge conference, with more than 1,400 accepted papers that cover a bewildering variety of topics. Beyond the Amazon papers, Caltech professor and Amazon fellow Pietro Perona identifies three research areas as growing in popularity.

“One is understanding how deep networks work, so that we can better design architectures and optimization algorithms to train models,” Perona says. “Another is low-shot learning. Machines are still much less efficient than humans at learning, in that they need more training examples to achieve the same performance. And finally, AI and society — identifying opportunities for social good, sustainable development, and the like.”

NeurIPS is being held this year at the Vancouver Convention Center, and the main conference runs from Dec. 8 to Dec. 12. The Women in Machine Learning Workshop, for which Amazon is a gold-level sponsor, takes place on Dec. 9; the Third Conversational AI workshop, whose organizers include Alexa AI principal scientist Dilek Hakkani-Tür, will be held on Dec. 14.

Amazon's involvement at NeurIPS

Paper and presentation schedule

Tuesday, 12/10 | 10:45-12:45pm | East Exhibition Hall B&C

A Meta-MDP Approach to Exploration for Lifelong Reinforcement Learning | #192
Francisco Garcia (UMass Amherst/Amazon) · Philip Thomas (UMass Amherst)

Blocking Bandits | #17
Soumya Basu (UT Austin) · Rajat Sen (UT Austin/Amazon) · Sujay Sanghavi (UT Austin/Amazon) · Sanjay Shakkottai (UT Austin)

Causal Regularization | #180
Dominik Janzing (Amazon)

Communication-Efficient Distributed SGD with Sketching | #81
Nikita Ivkin (Amazon) · Daniel Rothchild (University of California, Berkeley) · Md Enayat Ullah (Johns Hopkins University) · Vladimir Braverman (Johns Hopkins University) · Ion Stoica (UC Berkeley) · Raman Arora (Johns Hopkins University)

Learning Distributions Generated by One-Layer ReLU Networks | #49
Shanshan Wu (UT Austin) ·Alexandros G. Dimakis (UT Austin) · Sujay Sanghavi (UT Austin/Amazon)

Tuesday, 12/10 | 5:30-7:30pm | East Exhibition Hall B&C

Efficient Communication in Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning via Variance Based Control | #195
Sai Qian Zhang (Harvard University) · Qi Zhang (Amazon) · Jieyu Lin (University of Toronto)

Extreme Classification in Log Memory using Count-Min Sketch: A Case Study of Amazon Search with 50M Products | #37
Tharun Kumar Reddy Medini (Rice University) · Qixuan Huang (Rice University) · Yiqiu Wang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) · Vijai Mohan (Amazon) · Anshumali Shrivastava (Rice University/Amazon)

Iterative Least Trimmed Squares for Mixed Linear Regression | #50
Yanyao Shen (UT Austin) · Sujay Sanghavi (UT Austin/Amazon)

Meta-Surrogate Benchmarking for Hyperparameter Optimization | #6
Aaron Klein (Amazon) · Zhenwen Dai (Spotify) · Frank Hutter (University of Freiburg) · Neil Lawrence (University of Cambridge) · Javier Gonzalez (Amazon)

Qsparse-local-SGD: Distributed SGD with Quantization, Sparsification and Local Computations | #32
Debraj Basu (Adobe) · Deepesh Data (UCLA) · Can Karakus (Amazon) · Suhas Diggavi (UCLA)

Selecting Causal Brain Features with a Single Conditional Independence Test per Feature | #139
Atalanti Mastakouri (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) · Bernhard Schölkopf (MPI for Intelligent Systems/Amazon) · Dominik Janzing (Amazon)

Wednesday, 12/11 | 10:45-12:45pm | East Exhibition Hall B&C

On Single Source Robustness in Deep Fusion Models | #93
Taewan Kim (Amazon) · Joydeep Ghosh (UT Austin)

Perceiving the Arrow of Time in Autoregressive Motion | #155
Kristof Meding (University Tübingen) · Dominik Janzing (Amazon) · Bernhard Schölkopf (MPI for Intelligent Systems/Amazon) · Felix A. Wichmann (University of Tübingen)

Wednesday, 12/11 | 5:00-7:00pm | East Exhibition Hall B&C

Compositional De-Attention Networks | #127
Yi Tay (Nanyang Technological University) · Anh Tuan Luu (MIT) · Aston Zhang (Amazon) · Shuohang Wang (Singapore Management University) · Siu Cheung Hui (Nanyang Technological University)

Low-Rank Bandit Methods for High-Dimensional Dynamic Pricing | #3
Jonas Mueller (Amazon) · Vasilis Syrgkanis (Microsoft Research) · Matt Taddy (Amazon)

MaxGap Bandit: Adaptive Algorithms for Approximate Ranking | #4
Sumeet Katariya (Amazon/University of Wisconsin-Madison) · Ardhendu Tripathy (UW Madison) · Robert Nowak (UW Madison)

Primal-Dual Block Generalized Frank-Wolfe | #165
Qi Lei (UT Austin) · Jiacheng Zhuo (UT Austin) · Constantine Caramanis (UT Austin) · Inderjit S Dhillon (Amazon/UT Austin) · Alexandros Dimakis (UT Austin)

Towards Optimal Off-Policy Evaluation for Reinforcement Learning with Marginalized Importance Sampling | #208
Tengyang Xie (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) · Yifei Ma (Amazon) · Yu-Xiang Wang (UC Santa Barbara)

Thursday, 12/12 | 10:45-12:45pm | East Exhibition Hall B&C

AutoAssist: A Framework to Accelerate Training of Deep Neural Networks | #155
Jiong Zhang (UT Austin) · Hsiang-Fu Yu (Amazon) · Inderjit S Dhillon (UT Austin/Amazon)

Exponentially Convergent Stochastic k-PCA without Variance Reduction | #200 (oral, 10:05-10:20 W Ballroom C)
Cheng Tang (Amazon)

Failing Loudly: An Empirical Study of Methods for Detecting Dataset Shift | #54
Stephan Rabanser (Technical University of Munich/Amazon) · Stephan Günnemann (Technical University of Munich) · Zachary Lipton (Carnegie Mellon University/Amazon)

High-Dimensional Multivariate Forecasting with Low-Rank Gaussian Copula Processes | #107
David Salinas (Naverlabs) · Michael Bohlke-Schneider (Amazon) · Laurent Callot (Amazon) · Jan Gasthaus (Amazon) · Roberto Medico (Ghent University)

Learning Search Spaces for Bayesian Optimization: Another View of Hyperparameter Transfer Learning | #30
Valerio Perrone (Amazon) · Huibin Shen (Amazon) · Matthias Seeger (Amazon) · Cedric Archambeau (Amazon) · Rodolphe Jenatton (Amazon)

Mo’States Mo’Problems: Emergency Stop Mechanisms from Observation | #227
Samuel Ainsworth (University of Washington) · Matt Barnes (University of Washington) · Siddhartha Srinivasa (University of Washington/Amazon)

Think Globally, Act Locally: A Deep Neural Network Approach to High-Dimensional Time Series Forecasting | #113
Rajat Sen (Amazon) · Hsiang-Fu Yu (Amazon) · Inderjit S Dhillon (UT Austin/Amazon)

Thursday, 12/12 | 5:00-7:00pm | East Exhibition Hall B&C

Dynamic Local Regret for Non-Convex Online Forecasting | #20
Sergul Aydore (Stevens Institute of Technology) · Tianhao Zhu (Stevens Institute of Technology) · Dean Foster (Amazon)

Interaction Hard Thresholding: Consistent Sparse Quadratic Regression in Sub-quadratic Time and Space | #47
Suo Yang (UT Austin), Yanyao Shen (UT Austin), Sujay Sanghavi (UT Austin/Amazon)

Inverting Deep Generative Models, One Layer at a Time |#48
Qi Lei (University of Texas at Austin) · Ajil Jalal (UT Austin) · Inderjit S Dhillon (UT Austin/Amazon) · Alexandros Dimakis (UT Austin)

Provable Non-linear Inductive Matrix Completion| #215
Kai Zhong (Amazon) · Zhao Song (UT Austin) · Prateek Jain (Microsoft Research) · Inderjit S Dhillon (UT Austin/Amazon)

Amazon researchers on NeurIPS committees and boards

  • Bernhard Schölkopf – Advisory Board
  • Michael I. Jordan – Advisory Board
  • Thorsten Joachims – senior area chair
  • Anshumali Shrivastava – area chair
  • Cedric Archambeau – area chair
  • Peter Gehler – area chair
  • Sujay Sanghavi – committee member

Workshops

Learning with Rich Experience: Integration of Learning Paradigms

Paper: "Meta-Q-Learning" | Rasool Fakoor, Pratik Chaudhari, Stefano Soatto, Alexander J. Smola

Human-Centric Machine Learning

Paper: "Learning Fair and Transferable Representations" | Luco Oneto, Michele Donini, Andreas Maurer, Massimiliano Pontil

Bayesian Deep Learning

Paper: "Online Bayesian Learning for E-Commerce Query Reformulation" | Gaurush Hiranandani, Sumeet Katariya, Nikhil Rao, Karthik Subbian

Meta-Learning

Paper: "Constrained Bayesian Optimization with Max-Value Entropy Search" | Valerio Perrone, Iaroslav Shcherbatyi, Rodolphe Jenatton, Cedric Archambeau, Matthias Seeger

Paper: "A Quantile-Based Approach to Hyperparameter Transfer Learning" | David Salinas, Huibin Shen, Valerio Perrone

Paper: "A Baseline for Few-Shot Image Classification" | Guneet Singh Dhillon, Pratik Chaudhari, Avinash Ravichandran, Stefano Soatto

Conversational AI

Organizer: Dilek Hakkani-Tür

Paper: "The Eighth Dialog System Technology Challenge" | Seokhwan Kim, Michel Galley, Chulaka Gunasekara, Sungjin Lee, Adam Atkinson, Baolin Peng, Hannes Schulz, Jianfeng Gao, Jinchao Li, Mahmoud Adada, Minlie Huang, Luis Lastras, Jonathan K. Kummerfeld, Walter S. Lasecki, Chiori Hori, Anoop Cherian, Tim K. Marks, Abhinav Rastogi, Xiaoxue Zang, Srinivas Sunkara, Raghav Gupta

Paper: “Just Ask: An Interactive Learning Framework for Vision and Language Navigation” | Ta-Chung Chi, Minmin Shen, Mihail Eric, Seokhwan Kim, Dilek Hakkani-Tur

Paper: “MA-DST: Multi-Attention-Based Scalable Dialog State Tracking” | Adarsh Kumar, Peter Ku, Anuj Kumar Goyal, Angeliki Metallinou, Dilek Hakkani-Tür

Paper: “Investigation of Error Simulation Techniques for Learning Dialog Policies for Conversational Error Recovery” | Maryam Fazel-Zarandi, Longshaokan Wang, Aditya Tiwari, Spyros Matsoukas

Paper: “Towards Personalized Dialog Policies for Conversational Skill Discovery”| Maryam Fazel-Zarandi, Sampat Biswas, Ryan Summers, Ahmed Elmalt, Andy McCraw, Michael McPhillips, John Peach

Paper: “Conversation Quality Evaluation via User Satisfaction Estimation” | Praveen Kumar Bodigutla, Spyros Matsoukas, Lazaros Polymenakos

Paper: “Multi-domain Dialogue State Tracking as Dynamic Knowledge Graph Enhanced Question Answering” | Li Zhou, Kevin Small

Science Meets Engineering of Deep Learning

Paper: "X-BERT: eXtreme Multi-label Text Classification using Bidirectional Encoder from Transformers" Wei-Cheng Chang, Hsiang-Fu Yu, Kai Zhong, Yiming Yang, Inderjit S. Dhillon

Machine Learning with Guarantees

Organizers: Ben London, Thorsten Joachims
Program Committee: Kevin Small, Shiva Kasiviswanathan, Ted Sandler

MLSys: Workshop on Systems for ML

Paper: "Block-Distributed Gradient Boosted Trees" | Theodore Vasiloudis, Hyunsu Cho, Henrik Boström

Women in Machine Learning

Gold sponsor: Amazon

Research areas
About the Author
Larry Hardesty is the editor of the Amazon Science blog. Previously, he was a senior editor at MIT Technology Review and the computer science writer at the MIT News Office.

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Amazon Web Services are looking for a passionate and talented Data Scientist who will collaborate with other scientists and engineers to develop computer vision and machine learning methods and algorithms to address real-world customer use-cases. You'll design and run experiments, research new algorithms, and work closely with talented engineers to put your algorithms and models into practice to help solve our customers' most challenging problems. This role resides in AWS Professional Services, a unique consulting team where we pride ourselves on being customer obsessed and highly focused on the AI enablement of our customers.If you do not live in a market where we have an open Data Scientist position, please feel free to apply. Our Data Scientists can live in any location (D.C, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Denver) where we have a WWPS Professional Service office.The primary responsibilities of this role are to:* Research, design, implement and evaluate novel computer vision algorithms.* Work on large-scale datasets, creating scalable, robust and accurate computer vision systems in versatile application fields.* Work closely with account team, research scientist teams and product engineering teams to drive model implementations and new algorithms.* Interact with customer directly to understand the business problems and aid them in implementation of their ML solutions.This position can have periods of up to 10% travel.*Inclusive Team Culture*Here at AWS, we embrace our differences. We are committed to furthering our culture of inclusion. We have ten employee-led affinity groups, reaching 40,000 employees in over 190 chapters globally. We have innovative benefit offerings, and we host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences. Amazon’s culture of inclusion is reinforced within our 14 Leadership Principles, which remind team members to seek diverse perspectives, learn and be curious, and earn trust.*Work/Life Balance*Our team also puts a high value on work-life balance. Striking a healthy balance between your personal and professional life is crucial to your happiness and success here, which is why we aren’t focused on how many hours you spend at work or online. Instead, we’re happy to offer a flexible schedule so you can have a more productive and well-balanced life—both in and outside of work.*Mentorship & Career Growth*Our team is dedicated to supporting new team members. Our team has a broad mix of experience levels and Amazon tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorshipAmazon is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Amazon is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, age, or other legally protected status. For individuals with disabilities who would like to request an accommodation, visit https://www.amazon.jobs/en/disability/usA day in the lifeAbout the hiring groupJob responsibilities
US, CA, Palo Alto
Job summaryAmazon Search is looking for a senior applied scientist to build the next-generation Autocomplete and Spelling Correction experience. Autocomplete provides real-time suggestions as customers type in the search box. It serves as a virtual assistant on customer’s shopping journey. Our suggestions complete customers’ thoughts and help them to explore Amazon’s vast product offering. Spelling correction recovers the spelling errors in the queries, allowing customers to search effortlessly in any language they prefer, without worrying about making spelling mistakes. You will have the opportunities to leverage the latest developments in Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, and Reinforcement Learning to re-invent customers’ shopping experience. Your wok will touch the life of hundreds of millions customers and deliver billion-dollar business impact.You will love the job if you enjoy brining the cutting-edge research to people’s (and yours) day-to-day life. It’s a great feeling to realize the model you deployed yesterday has helped your shopping journey today. You will work closely with scientists and engineers to do fast-pace model development and experiment iterations. You will have access to Amazon’s rich datasets, AWS’s massive computation power, and science and engineering leaders across the company.As a senior applied scientist and a technical leader, you will· Drive the science vision and roadmap.· Develop data-driven solutions for the real-world, large scale problems.· Deliver and maintain software and models in the production environment.· Lead cross-functional collaborations between product, design, and engineering.
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryDo you want to join an innovative team of scientists who use machine learning and statistical techniques to help Amazon provide the best customer experience by preventing eCommerce fraud? Are you excited by the prospect of analyzing and modeling terabytes of data and creating models using state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to solve real world problems? Do you enjoy collaborating in a diverse team environment? How about owning end-to-end business problems/metrics and directly impact the profitability of the company?If yes, then you may be a great fit to join the Amazon Buyer Risk Prevention (BRP) Machine Learning group. We are looking for a talented scientist who is passionate to build advanced algorithmic systems that help manage the safety of millions of transactions every day.Major responsibilities· Use statistical and machine learning techniques to create scalable risk management systems· Learning and understanding large amounts of Amazon’s historical business data for specific instances of risk or broader risk trends· Design, development and evaluation of highly innovative models for risk management· Working closely with software engineering teams to drive real-time model implementations and new feature creations· Working closely with operations staff to optimize risk management operations,· Establishing scalable, efficient, automated processes for large scale data analyses, model development, model validation and model implementation· Tracking general business activity and providing clear, compelling management reporting on a regular basis· Research and implement novel machine learning and statistical approachesPlease visit https://www.amazon.science for more information
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryThe Global Specialty Fulfillment (GSF) team that delights millions of customers around the world by delivering our most complex product lines at speeds that redefine the bar. The GSF Strategies Team is a collaborative group of Business Analysts, Business Intelligence Engineers, Data Engineers, Data Scientists, Economists, Product Managers, and Program Managers that creates people-centric innovations this business and their workforce of over a hundred thousand valued associates and leaders.We are now recruiting for an exceptional Economist, Global OperationsThe ideal candidate will be:· A Well-Rounded 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 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 their unidentified needs.· A Fearless Explorer – You are drawn to take on the hardest problems, navigate ambiguity, and see possibility in what others view with skepticism. You never settle, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles.You will:· Collaborate with business intel and data engineering teams to collect new data and refine of existing data sources to continually improve solutions· Test hypotheses in a high-ambiguity environment making use of qualitative data, judgment, and customer feedback.· Utilize code (Python, R, Scala, etc.) to design, build, and manage scientifically-sound, production-grade models and hands-off-the-wheel solutions that solve specific business problems· Advocate for your customer and align your stakeholders to address our most pressing needs· Distill informal customer requirements into problem definitions· Manage and quantify improvement in customer experience or value for the business resulting from research outcomes· Convey rigorous mathematical concepts and considerations to non-expertsAmazon is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation.
US, MA, Cambridge
Job summaryThe Amazon Alexa Artificial Intelligence (AI) team is looking for a passionate, talented, and inventive Applied Scientist to help build industry-leading technologies in Natural Language Processing and Entity Resolution.Key job responsibilitiesAs an Applied Scientist with the Alexa AI team, you will be responsible for developing novel algorithms that advance the state-of-the-art in language processing and entity resolution, driving model and algorithmic improvements, formulating evaluation methodologies and for influencing design and architecture choices. You will leverage Amazon’s heterogeneous data sources and large-scale computing resources to build novel products and services that make use of speech and language technology. You will work in a hybrid, fast-paced organization where scientists and engineers work together and drive improvements to production. You will collaborate with and mentor other scientists to raise the bar of scientific research in Amazon.
US, NY, New York City
Job summaryAre you seeking an environment where you can drive innovation? Do you want to apply techniques and advanced mathematical modeling to solve real world problems? Do you want to play a key role in the future of Amazon's Retail business? Come and join us!The Amazon Demand team seeks an Applied Scientist to join our team. Scientists in Demand lead the development of novel algorithmic architectures, toward the ultimate goal of accurately predicting customer demand for millions of products world-wide. This drives down costs and enables the offer of lower prices and better in-stock selection for our customers.Working collaboratively, you will develop solutions to complex problems, such as designing the next generation of algorithms to improve the supply chain efficiency. Our science community values teamwork, supports continued , and recognizes the need to take chances and try new ideas that may fail. Furthermore, our builder culture means that Scientists and Software Development Engineers work closely together to invent and construct at a massive scale. Your work can be part of Amazon production system and result in concrete business impact. Recent work from Demand includes papers presented at the NIPS 2017 Time Series Workshop, KDD 2018 Time Series Workshop, and ICML 2018 Generative Models Workshop.Responsibilities:· Collaborative research and development of demand forecasting solutions· Prototype and implement new algorithms and prediction techniques· Collaborate with product managers and engineering teams to design and implement software solutions for Amazon problems· Contribute to progress of the Amazon and broader research communities by producing publications
US, WA, Bellevue
Job summaryAmazon’s Modeling and Optimization team (MOP) is looking for a Research Scientist to analyze and optimize the most complex logistics systems in the world. Academic and/or practical background in Operations Research, Industrial Engineering, or System Engineering and Optimization are particularly relevant for this position. Experience in model-based engineering and/or multidisciplinary analysis & optimization is also a plus.Amazon’s extensive logistics system comprises thousands of fixed infrastructure nodes with millions of possible connections between them. Billions of packages flow through this network on a yearly basis, making the impact of optimal improvements truly unparalleled. This magnificent challenge is a terrific opportunity to analyze Amazon data and understand, model, simulate, optimize, and reshape one of the world's most complex systems.Key job responsibilitiesYour main focus will be on developing model-based optimization tools, at various levels of fidelity, for improving our transportation network under the uncertainty of demand and supply. You will make the real complexity of our logistics system visible, tangible, and manageable using cutting edge analytical methods. You will use modeling and simulation to validate assumptions on the intricate interactions among different elements of our system. You will identify and evaluate opportunities to improve customer experience, network speed, cost, and the efficiency of capital investment. You will develop system components using optimization, simulation, and machine learning techniques. You will quantify the improvements resulting from the application of these tools and you will evaluate trade-offs between competing outputs of the system.This position requires drive and self-motivation, superior analytical thinking, data-driven disposition, application of technical knowledge to a business context, effective collaboration with fellow research scientists, software development engineers, and product managers, effective communication of technical designs to technical and non-technical audiences, and close partnership with many stakeholders from operations, finance, IT, and business leadership
GB, London
Job summaryDo you want to join Amazon Studios AI team – the team that is at the forefront of inventing new visual media technologies within the entertainment and streaming industries to provide incredible experiences to audiences around the world? Do you want to invent and leverage cutting-edge deep-learning and machine-learning algorithms to build innovative solutions most people cannot even yet imagine?If your answers to these questions are “yes”, then come and join us at Amazon Studios AI. We are leveraging the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence to create a new way of watching streaming video content. We expect our solutions to disrupt the media and entertainment industry and delight audiences around the world. We are looking for talented and ambitious teammates who will Think Big with us. If you have a passion for groundbreaking technology, please join us and be part of this exciting, newly funded and fast-growing project.On our team, you will partner with top AI scientists, software engineers, product managers, and others. You will be joining on the ground floor and will grow with our team all the way through to our expected launch. You will be expected to:· Build state-of-the art computer vision solutions using approaches such as CNN, LSTM, GAN, etc.· Build 2D/3D face/body models in time series domain.· Research, invent and implement novel deep learning architectures/algorithms as part of building a disruptive product.· Work in a collaborative environment with other scientists, engineers, product managers and others.· Mentor and develop junior scientists in the team.Key job responsibilitiesPhD, CNN, LSTM, GAN, Computer Vision, Machine Learning.
US, CA, Irvine
Job summaryWould you like to work on a greenfield project that'll help improve the shopping experience of millions of Amazon customers? Want to help invent the next generation technologies in recommender and content optimization systems? We’ve got the perfect job for you.We are a team in a fast-paced organization with a huge impact on hundreds of millions of customers. We innovate at the intersection of customer experience, deep learning, and high-scale machine-learning systems.We are looking for Applied Scientists who love big data, and are capable of inventing and applying Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Image processing, Data Mining, Classification and Clustering techniques to solve real world problems and build novel customer facing innovations on Amazon. Our applied scientists work closely with software engineers to put algorithms into practice. They also work in partnership with teams across Amazon to create enormous benefits for our customers.As a member of the our Content Optimization team, you would be expected to move fast, have good judgment on what is and what is not worth exploring, create simple and scalable solutions and identify correct problem sets. You will be surrounded by thought-leaders in the Personalization space who are patent-leaders within Amazon. You will keep the team up-to date with latest academic research in relevant fields.About our team: Our team has the autonomy to decide where we can have the most impact and get down to experimenting. We love metrics and the fast pace. We analyze data to uncover potential opportunities, generate hypotheses, and test them. We refuse to accept constraints, internal or external, and have a strong bias for action. We imagine, build prototypes, validate ideas, and launch follow-up experiments from the successful ones.About our organization: Consider the following problem: every day, millions of customers with unique interests and needs come to Amazon looking for products out of a catalog of over a billion items. Not only do we need to decide what content would be most helpful to customers, we also need to present it in an inspiring manner. The Personalization organization within Amazon is responsible for the secret sauce that not only made Amazon the industry pioneer in building recommender systems at scale, but is also continuing to help raise the bar for building delightful and highly personalized shopping experiences.About you: You are an Applied Scientist with an interest in machine learning, data science, search, or recommendation systems. You have great problem solving skills. You love keeping abreast of the latest technology and use it to help you innovate. You have strong leadership qualities, great judgment, clear communication skills, and a track record of delivering great products. You enjoy working hard, having fun, and making history!
US, CA, Irvine
Job summaryWould you like to work on a greenfield project that'll help improve the shopping experience of millions of Amazon customers? Want to help invent the next generation technologies in recommender and content optimization systems? We’ve got the perfect job for you.We are a team in a fast-paced organization with a huge impact on hundreds of millions of customers. We innovate at the intersection of customer experience, deep learning, and high-scale machine-learning systems.We are looking for Applied Scientists who love big data, and are capable of inventing and applying Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Image processing, Data Mining, Classification and Clustering techniques to solve real world problems and build novel customer facing innovations on Amazon. Our applied scientists work closely with software engineers to put algorithms into practice. They also work in partnership with teams across Amazon to create enormous benefits for our customers.As a member of the our Content Optimization team, you would be expected to move fast, have good judgment on what is and what is not worth exploring, create simple and scalable solutions and identify correct problem sets. You will be surrounded by thought-leaders in the Personalization space who are patent-leaders within Amazon. You will keep the team up-to date with latest academic research in relevant fields.About our team: Our team has the autonomy to decide where we can have the most impact and get down to experimenting. We love metrics and the fast pace. We analyze data to uncover potential opportunities, generate hypotheses, and test them. We refuse to accept constraints, internal or external, and have a strong bias for action. We imagine, build prototypes, validate ideas, and launch follow-up experiments from the successful ones.About our organization: Consider the following problem: every day, millions of customers with unique interests and needs come to Amazon looking for products out of a catalog of over a billion items. Not only do we need to decide what content would be most helpful to customers, we also need to present it in an inspiring manner. The Personalization organization within Amazon is responsible for the secret sauce that not only made Amazon the industry pioneer in building recommender systems at scale, but is also continuing to help raise the bar for building delightful and highly personalized shopping experiences.About you: You are an Applied Scientist with an interest in machine learning, data science, search, or recommendation systems. You have great problem solving skills. You love keeping abreast of the latest technology and use it to help you innovate. You have strong leadership qualities, great judgment, clear communication skills, and a track record of delivering great products. You enjoy working hard, having fun, and making history!
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryAre you excited about using econometrics to make multi-million dollar decisions more Science and Data Driven? Are you interested in supporting Consumer Hardware device concepts from innovative idea inception to launch? Do you want to work on a Economics and Data Science team focused on tackling some of the hardest business questions within the Devices business at Amazon and then scaling those Statistics and Econometrics solutions via internal to Amazon tools? Then this could be the role for you!Amazon.com strives to be Earth's most customer-centric company where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online. We hire the world's brightest minds, offering them a fast paced, technologically sophisticated and friendly work environment. Amazon Devices and Services team is the area of Amazon focused on inventing platforms that delight customers by eliminating friction they have in supplying, entertaining, and managing the home and beyond.The Device Economics team owns demand estimates and pricing recommendations of concept devices before customers know they exist. We support over 100 device-specific analyses a year on hardware and services ranging from Echo Frames to Kindle Paperwhite to Blink Video Camera subscriptions to the Amazon Smart Plug…all prior to launch.. We are a cross-functional Product team working to scale Econometrics through Amazon and beyond by incorporating Science into internal facing tools and making it easier for others to do so as well.In this role, you will support up to senior leadership decision meetings around approving confidential funding requests (PRFAQs) for brand new devices and services, build decisions around how many hardware devices to manufacture prior to receiving any customer signal, and pricing decisions around how to price and promote products and services. You will leverage Science and Tools produced by the Device Economics team such as conjoint demand models to produce these recommendations. As part of the stakeholder-facing arm of the team, you will own relationships with decision makers to help improve the end-customer experience by making the decisions that impact those end-customers more data and Science-driven. In parallel, you will work with Scientists, Economists, Product Managers, and Software Developers to provide meaningful feedback about stakeholder problems to inform business solutions and increase the velocity, quality, and scope behind our recommendations. You will own projects to make progress on Decision Science itself. Through this all, we will invest in your development to pursue your career goals.We are willing to consider L5 candidates across the BA/BIE job families where we'll bar raise your Science skills.
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryAlexa Smart Home Research is looking for a brilliant quantitative researcher to drive a new program to ensure Alexa always delivers a four star experience. In this role, you will define the roadmap for the SH segmentation program, create experiments to evaluate customer behavior and sentiment that drive these higher quality experiences for our target customers. These insights help Alexa Smart Home Marketing and Product teams make data driven decisions about our marketing and product strategies ensuring products are accurately conveyed, appropriately priced and designed, and with each launch we are moving the needle for customers to help them accomplish their ideal smart home.Key job responsibilities· Identify and propose key opportunities for improving the product development and marketing strategy for Alexa products· Develop and execute research projects, including leading all project phases: methodology and study design, data gathering and manipulation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of results· Lead and execute validation and impact studies· Define project requirements, document business and functional specifications, map current and future state business processes· Build automated mechanisms for evaluating, measuring, and deploying the algorithms and/or models you develop.· Bring a deep level of expertise in one of the Research Marketing disciplines (e.g. Statistics)A day in the lifeAs part of your work, you will lead quantitative research projects that build our understand of smart home customers, identifying what works well and areas of improvement for Alexa Smart Home that will ensure we continue to delight our customers. Excellent business and communication skills are a must to develop and define key business questions and to build data sets that answer those questions. You should be able to work with business customers in understanding the business requirements and research impact.About the teamWe are responsible for UX and market research (foundational, market fit, usability and concept testing), Beta launch readiness and voice of the customer. These services product org-wide customer insights that help SH teams connect directly with customers daily, supporting the end-to-end product readiness, and look around the corner to understand customer and competitor trends.
US, CA, Irvine
Job summaryWould you like to work on a greenfield project that'll help improve the shopping experience of millions of Amazon customers? Want to help invent the next generation technologies in recommender and content optimization systems? We’ve got the perfect job for you.We are a team in a fast-paced organization with a huge impact on hundreds of millions of customers. We innovate at the intersection of customer experience, deep learning, and high-scale machine-learning systems.We are looking for Applied Scientists who love big data, and are capable of inventing and applying Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Image processing, Data Mining, Classification and Clustering techniques to solve real world problems and build novel customer facing innovations on Amazon. Our applied scientists work closely with software engineers to put algorithms into practice. They also work in partnership with teams across Amazon to create enormous benefits for our customers.As a member of the our Content Optimization team, you would be expected to move fast, have good judgment on what is and what is not worth exploring, create simple and scalable solutions and identify correct problem sets. You will be surrounded by thought-leaders in the Personalization space who are patent-leaders within Amazon. You will keep the team up-to date with latest academic research in relevant fields.About our team: Our team has the autonomy to decide where we can have the most impact and get down to experimenting. We love metrics and the fast pace. We analyze data to uncover potential opportunities, generate hypotheses, and test them. We refuse to accept constraints, internal or external, and have a strong bias for action. We imagine, build prototypes, validate ideas, and launch follow-up experiments from the successful ones.About our organization: Consider the following problem: every day, millions of customers with unique interests and needs come to Amazon looking for products out of a catalog of over a billion items. Not only do we need to decide what content would be most helpful to customers, we also need to present it in an inspiring manner. The Personalization organization within Amazon is responsible for the secret sauce that not only made Amazon the industry pioneer in building recommender systems at scale, but is also continuing to help raise the bar for building delightful and highly personalized shopping experiences.About you: You are an Applied Scientist with an interest in machine learning, data science, search, or recommendation systems. You have great problem solving skills. You love keeping abreast of the latest technology and use it to help you innovate. You have strong leadership qualities, great judgment, clear communication skills, and a track record of delivering great products. You enjoy working hard, having fun, and making history!
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryAre you excited about cutting-edge deep-learning NLP, NLU, and Conversational AI? If so, then come and join the Alexa Artificial Intelligence (AI) team. We are the science team behind Amazon’s intelligence voice assistance system and are responsible for the deep learning technology that is central to the automated ranking and arbitration to optimize for end-to-end customer satisfaction.Key job responsibilitiesAs an Applied Scientist, you will work with talented peers to develop novel algorithms and modeling techniques to advance the state of the art in spoken language understanding. Your work will directly impact our customers in the form of products and services that make use of speech and language technology. You will leverage Amazon’s heterogeneous data sources and large-scale computing resources to accelerate advances in spoken language understanding.A day in the life· Design, build, test and release predictive ML models· Ensure data quality throughout all stages of acquisition and processing, including such areas as data sourcing/collection, ground truth generation, normalization, and transformation.· Collaborate with colleagues from science, engineering and business backgrounds.· Present proposals and results to partner teams in a clear manner backed by data and coupled with actionable conclusions· Work with engineers to develop efficient data querying and inference infrastructure for both offline and online use casesAbout the teamWe are a science and engineering team part of Alexa AI organization. Our mission is to help Alexa decide which action to take in response to customer requests, incorporating a variety of contextual signals including both direct and indirect customer feedback to provide the best response to the customer. Our work directly contributes to improvement in Alexa business and customer metrics.