Automated reasoning at Amazon: A conversation

To mark the occasion of the eighth Federated Logic Conference (FloC), Amazon’s Byron Cook, Daniel Kröning, and Marijn Heule discussed automated reasoning’s prospects.

The Federated Logic Conference (FLoC) is a superconference that, like the Olympics, happens every four years. FLoC draws together 12 distinct conferences on logic-related topics, most of which meet annually. The individual conferences have their own invited speakers, but FLoC as a whole has several plenary speakers as well.

At the last FLoC, in 2018, one of those plenary speakers was Byron Cook, who leads Amazon’s automated-reasoning group, and he was introduced by Daniel Kröning, then a professor of computer science at the University of Oxford

Byron Cook's keynote at FLoC 2018
With introduction by Daniel Kröning.

“What makes me so proud that Byron is here,” Kröning said, is “he’s now at Amazon, and he’s going to run the next Bell Labs, he’s going to run the next Microsoft Research, from within Amazon. My prediction is that — not 10 years but 16 years; remember, it’s multiples of four — 16 years from now you’ll be at a FLoC, and you’ll hear these stories about the great thing that Byron Cook built up at Amazon Web Services. And we’ll speak about it in the same tone as we’re now talking about Bell Labs and Microsoft Research.”

In the audience at the talk was Marijn Heule, a highly cited automated-reasoning researcher who was then at the University of Texas.

“I hadn't met Marijn, though I had heard about him from a couple other people and thought I should talk to him,” Cook says. “And then Marijn found me at the banquet after the talk and was like, ‘I want a job.’”

AR scientists.png
L to R: Amazon vice president and distinguished scientist Byron Cook; Amazon Scholar Marijn Heule; Amazon senior principal scientist Daniel Kröning.

Heule is now an Amazon Scholar who divides his time between Amazon and his new appointment at Carnegie Mellon University. Kröning, too, has joined Amazon as a senior principal scientist, working closely with Cook’s group.

As 2022’s FLoC approached, Cook, Kröning, and Heule took some time to talk with Amazon Science about the current state of automated-reasoning research and its implications for Amazon customers.

Related content
Meet Amazon Science’s newest research area.

Amazon Science: The conference name has the word “logic” in it. Does FLoC deal with other aspects of logic, or is logic coextensive with automated reasoning now?

Byron Cook: It’s about the intersection of logic and computer science. Automated reasoning is one dimension of that intersection.

Daniel Kröning: Traditionally, FLoC is split into two halves, with the first half more theoretical and the second half more applied.

Cook: One of the things about automated reasoning is you're on the bleeding edge of what is even computable. We're often working on intractable or undecidable problems. So people automating reasoning are really paying attention to both the applied and the theoretical.

AS: I know Marijn is concentrating on SAT solvers, and SAT is an intractable problem, right? It’s NP-complete?

Marijn Heule: Yes, but you can also use these techniques to solve problems that go beyond NP. For example, solvers for SAT modulo theories, called SMT. I even have a project with one student trying to solve the famous Collatz conjecture with these tools.

The Collatz conjecture posits that any integer will be transformed into the integer 1 through iterative application of two operations: n/2 and 3n+1. This figure shows a "Collatz cascade" of possible transitions from 27 to 1 using a set of seven symbols, which can be interpreted as simple calculations, and 11 rules for transforming those symbols into symbols consistent with the Collatz operations. At top right are the symbol rewrite rules; at bottom left is a blowup of part of the cascade, illustrating sequences of rewrites that yield the number 425 and its transformation through Collatz operations.

Kröning: SAT is now the inexpensive, easy-to-solve workhorse for really hard problems. People still have it in their heads that SAT equals NP hard, therefore difficult to solve or impossible to solve. But for us, it's the lowest entry point. On top of SAT, we build algorithms for solving problems that are way harder.

Cook: One of the tricks of the trade is abstraction, where you take a problem that's much, much bigger but represent it with something smaller, where classes of questions you might ask about the smaller problem imply that the answer also holds for the bigger problem. We also have techniques for refining the abstractions on demand when the abstraction is losing too much information to answer the question. Often we can represent these abstractions in tools for SAT.

Related content
Distributing proof search, reasoning about distributed systems, and automating regulatory compliance are just three fruitful research areas.

Marijn’s work on the Collatz conjecture is a great example of this. He has done this amazing reduction of Collatz to a series of SAT questions, and he's tantalizingly close to solving it because he's got one decidable problem to go — and he's the world expert on solving those problems. [Laughs]

Heule: Tantalizingly close but also so far away, right? Because this problem might not be solvable even with a million cores.

Cook: But it's still decidable. And one of the thresholds is that NP, PSpace, all these things, they're actually decidable. There are questions that are undecidable — and we work on those, too. When a problem is undecidable, it means that your tool will sometimes fail to find an answer, and that's just fundamental: there are no extra computers you could use ever to solve that. The halting problem is a great example of that.

Heule: For these kinds of problems, you're asking the question “Is there a termination argument of this kind of shape?” And if there is one, you have your termination argument. If there is no termination argument of that shape, there could be one of another shape. So if the answer is SAT [satisfiable], then you're happy because you’ve solved the problem. If the answer is no, you try something else.

Cook: It's really, really exciting. In Amazon, we're building these increasingly powerful SAT solvers, using the power of the cloud and distributed systems. So there's no better place for Marijn to be than at Amazon.

Related content
ICSE paper presents techniques piloted by Amazon Web Services’ Automated Reasoning team.

AS: Daniel, could we talk a little bit about your research?

Kröning: What I'm looking at right now is reasoning about the cloud infrastructure that performs remote management of EC2 instances — how to secure that in a way that is provable. You also want to do that in a way that is economical.

Cook: One of the things that Daniel's focusing on is agents. We have pieces of software that run on other machines, like EC2 instances, agents for telemetry or for control, and you give them power to take action on your behalf on your machine. But you want to make sure that an adversary doesn't trick those agents into doing bad things.

Correct software

AS: I know that, commercially, formal methods have been used in hardware design and transportation systems for some time. But it seems that they’re really starting to make inroads in software development, too.

The storage team is able to write code that otherwise they might not want to deploy because they wouldn't be as confident about it, and they're deploying four times as fast. It was an investment in agility that's really paid off.
Byron Cook

Cook: The thing we've seen is it's really by need. The storage team, for example, is able to be much more agile and be much more aggressive in the programs that they write because of the formal methods. They're able to write code that otherwise they might not want to deploy because they wouldn't be as confident about it, and they're deploying four times as fast. It was an investment in agility that's really paid off.

Kröning: There are actually a good number of stories wherein engineering teams didn't dare to roll out a particular feature or design revision or design variant that offers clear benefits — like being faster, using less power — because they just couldn't gain the confidence that it's actually right under all circumstances.

Heule: The interesting thing is that you even see this now in tools. Now we have produced proofs from the tools, and people start implementing features that they wouldn't dare have in the past because they were not clear that they were correct. So the solvers get faster and more complex because we now can check the results from the tools and to have confidence in their correctness.

Related content
SOSP paper describes lightweight formal methods for validating new S3 data storage service.

Cook: Yeah, I wanted to double down on that point. There’s a distinction in automated reasoning between finding a proof and checking your proof, and the checking is actually relatively easy. It's an accounting thing. Whereas finding the proof is an incredibly creative activity, and the algorithms that find proofs are mind-blowing. But how do you know that the tool that found the proof is correct? Well, you produce an auditable artifact that you can check with the easy tool.

SAT in the cloud

AS: What are you all most excited about at this year’s FLoC?

Cook: The SAT conference is at FLoC, and there will be the SAT competition results, and one of the things I'm really excited about is the cloud track. Automated reasoning has really moved into the cloud, and the past couple years running the cloud track has really blown the doors off what's possible. I'm expecting that that will be true again this year.

SAT results.png
The results of the top-performing cloud-based, parallel, and sequential SAT solvers in this year's SAT competition, whose results were presented at FLoC. The curves show the number of problems (y-axis) in the SAT competition's anniversary problem set — which aggregates all 5,355 problems presented in the competition's 20-year history — that a given solver could solve in the allotted time (x-axis).

Heule: This is the first year that Amazon is running both the parallel track and the cloud track, and the cloud track was only possible because of Amazon. Before that, there was no way we had the resources to run a cloud track. In the cloud track, every solver-benchmark combination is run on 1,600 cores. And this year is extra special because it's 20 years of SAT, and we have a single anniversary track and all the competitions that were run in the past are in there. That is 5,355 problems, and all the solvers are running on this.

Cook: Wow.

Heule: I'm also excited to see the results. We have seen in the last year and the year before that the cloud solver can, say, solve in 100 seconds as much as the sequential solvers can do in 5,000 seconds. The user doesn't have to wait for four hours but just for four minutes

Cook: And that raises all boats because, as we mentioned earlier, everything is reduced to SAT. If the SAT solvers go from one hour to one minute, that's really game changing. That means a whole other set of things you can do.

What has been clear for a while but continues to be true is there's some sort of Moore's-law thing happening with SAT. You fix the same hardware, the same benchmarks, and then run all the tools from the past 20 years, and you see every year they're getting dramatically better. What's also really amazing is that in many ways the tools are getting simpler.

LH: Are the simplicity and efficiency two sides of the same coin? Understanding the problems better helps you find a simpler solution, which is more efficient?

Cook: Yeah, but it’s also the point that Marijn made that because the tools produce auditable proofs that you can check independently, you can do aggressive things that we were scared to do before. Often, aggressive is much simpler.

Related content
Automated-reasoning method enables the calculation of tight bounds on the use of resources — such as computation or memory — that results from code changes.

Heule: It's also the case that we now understand there are different kinds of problems, and they need different kinds of heuristics. Solvers are combining different heuristics and have phases: “Let's first try this. Let's also try that.” And the code involved in changing the heuristics is very small. It's just changing a couple of parameters. But if you notice, okay, this set of heuristics works well for this problem, then you kind of focus more on that.

Cook: One of the things a SAT solver does is make decisions fast. It just makes a bunch of choices, and those choices won't work out, and then it spends some time to learn lessons why. And then it has a very efficient internal database for managing what has been learned, what not to do in the future. And that prunes the search space a lot.

One of the really exciting things that's happening in the cloud is that you have, say, 1,000 SAT solvers all running on the same problem, and they're learning different things and can share that information amongst them. So by adding 5,000 more solvers, if you can make the communication and the lookup efficient between them, you're really off to the races.

The other thing that's quite neat about that is the point that Marijn is making: it's becoming increasingly clear that there are these fundamental building blocks, and for different kinds of problems, you would want to use one kind of Lego brick versus a different kind of Lego brick. And the cloud allows you to run them all but then to share the information between them.

Iterated SAT solver.png
In "Migrating solver state", Heule and his colleagues show that passing modified versions of a problem between different solvers can accelerate convergence on a solution.

Heule: We have an Amazon paper at FLoC with some very cool ideas. If you run things in the cloud, you sometimes have a limited time window where you have to solve them, and otherwise it stops. You started with a certain problem, the solver did some modifications, and now we have a different problem. Initially we just tested, Okay, can we stop the solver and then store the modified problem somewhere and continue later, in case we need more time than we allocated initially? And then we can continue solving it.

But the interesting thing is that if you give the modified problem to another solver, and you give it, say, a couple of minutes, and then it stores the modified problem, and you give it to another solver, it actually really speeds things up. It turns out to solve the most instances from everything that we tried.

AS: Do you do that in a principled way, or do you just pick a new solver randomly?

Related content
In a pilot study, an automated code checker found about 100 possible errors, 80% of which turned out to require correction.

Heule: The thing that turned out to work really well is to take two top-tier solvers and just Ping-Pong the problem among them. This functionality of storing and continuing search requires some work, so that implementing it in, say, a dozen solvers would require quite some work. But it would be a very interesting experiment.

AS: I’m sure our readers would love to know the result of that experiment!

Well, thank you all very much for your time. Does anyone have any last thoughts?

Cook: I think I speak for the thousands of others who are attending FLoC: we are ready to having our minds blown, just as we did in 2018. Many of the tools and theories presented by our scientific colleagues at this year’s FLoC will challenge our current assumptions or spark that next big insight in our brains. We will also get to catch up with old friends that we’ve known for around 20 years and meet new ones. I’m particularly excited to meet the new generation of scientists who have entered the field, to see the world afresh through their eyes. This is such an amazing time to be in the field of automated reasoning.

Research areas

Related content

US, WA, Seattle
Job description: We are reimagining Amazon Search with an interactive conversational experience that helps you find answers to product questions, perform product comparisons, receive personalized product suggestions, and so much more, to easily find the perfect product for your needs. We’re looking for the best and brightest across Amazon to help us realize and deliver this vision to our customers right away. This will be a once in a generation transformation for Search, just like the Mosaic browser made the Internet easier to engage with three decades ago. If you missed the 90s—WWW, Mosaic, and the founding of Amazon and Google—you don’t want to miss this opportunity.
US, WA, Bellevue
We are looking for detail-oriented, organized, and responsible individuals who are eager to learn how to work with large and complicated data sets. Knowledge of econometrics, (Bayesian) time series, macroeconomic, as well as basic familiarity with Matlab, R, or Python is necessary, and experience with SQL 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, scientists, and product managers. 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 85% of previous cohorts have converted to full time economics employment at Amazon. If you are interested, please send your CV to our mailing list at
US, WA, Seattle
Do you want to join an innovative team of scientists who use machine learning to help Amazon provide the best experience to our Selling Partners by automatically understanding and addressing their challenges, needs and opportunities? Do you want to build advanced algorithmic systems that are powered by state-of-art ML, such as Natural Language Processing, Large Language Models, Deep Learning, Computer Vision and Causal Modeling, to seamlessly engage with Sellers? Are you excited by the prospect of analyzing and modeling terabytes of data and creating cutting edge algorithms to solve real world problems? Do you like to build end-to-end business solutions and directly impact the profitability of the company and experience of our customers? Do you like to innovate and simplify? If yes, then you may be a great fit to join the Selling Partner Experience Science team. Key job responsibilities Use statistical and machine learning techniques to create the next generation of the tools that empower Amazon's Selling Partners to succeed. Design, develop and deploy highly innovative models to interact with Sellers and delight them with solutions. Work closely with teams of scientists and software engineers to drive real-time model implementations and deliver novel and highly impactful features. Establish scalable, efficient, automated processes for large scale data analyses, model development, model validation and model implementation. Research and implement novel machine learning and statistical approaches. Lead strategic initiatives to employ the most recent advances in ML in a fast-paced, experimental environment. Drive the vision and roadmap for how ML can continually improve Selling Partner experience. About the team Selling Partner Experience Science (SPeXSci) is a growing team of scientists, engineers and product leaders engaged in the research and development of the next generation of ML-driven technology to empower Amazon's Selling Partners to succeed. We draw from many science domains, from Natural Language Processing to Computer Vision to Optimization to Economics, to create solutions that seamlessly and automatically engage with Sellers, solve their problems, and help them grow. Focused on collaboration, innovation and strategic impact, we work closely with other science and technology teams, product and operations organizations, and with senior leadership, to transform the Selling Partner experience.
US, WA, Seattle
The AWS AI Labs team has a world-leading team of researchers and academics, and we are looking for world-class colleagues to join us and make the AI revolution happen. Our team of scientists have developed the algorithms and models that power AWS computer vision services such as Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Textract. As part of the team, we expect that you will develop innovative solutions to hard problems, and publish your findings at peer reviewed conferences and workshops. AWS is the world-leading provider of cloud services, has fostered the creation and growth of countless new businesses, and is a positive force for good. Our customers bring problems which will give Applied Scientists like you endless opportunities to see your research have a positive and immediate impact in the world. You will have the opportunity to partner with technology and business teams to solve real-world problems, have access to virtually endless data and computational resources, and to world-class engineers and developers that can help bring your ideas into the world. Our research themes include, but are not limited to: few-shot learning, transfer learning, unsupervised and semi-supervised methods, active learning and semi-automated data annotation, large scale image and video detection and recognition, face detection and recognition, OCR and scene text recognition, document understanding, 3D scene and layout understanding, and geometric computer vision. For this role, we are looking for scientist who have experience working in the intersection of vision and language. We are located in Seattle, Pasadena, Palo Alto (USA) and in Haifa and Tel Aviv (Israel).
RO, Iasi
Amazon’s mission is to be earth’s most customer-centric company and our team is the guardian of our customer’s privacy. Amazon SDO Privacy engineering operates in Austin – TX, US and Iasi, Bucharest – Romania. Our mission is to develop services which will enable every Amazon service operating with personal data to satisfy the privacy rights of Amazon customers. We are working backwards from the customers and world-wide privacy regulations, think long term, and propose solutions which will assure Amazon Privacy compliance. Our external customers are world-wide customers of Amazon Retail Website, Amazon B2B services (e.g. Seller central, App / Skill Developers), and Amazon Subsidiaries. Our internal customers are services within Amazon who operate with personal data, Legal Representatives, and Customer Service Agents. You can opt-in for being part of one of the existing or newly formed engineering teams who will contribute to Amazon mission to meet external customers’ privacy rights: Personal Data Classification, The Right to be forgotten, The right of access, or Digital Markets Act – The Right of Portability. The ideal candidate has a great passion for data and an insatiable desire to learn and innovate. A commitment to team work, hustle and strong communication skills (to both business and technical partners) are absolute requirements. Creating reliable, scalable, and high-performance products requires a sound understanding of the fundamentals of Computer Science and practical experience building large-scale distributed systems. Your solutions will apply to all of Amazon’s consumer and digital businesses including but not limited to, Alexa, Kindle, Amazon Go, Prime Video and more. Key job responsibilities As an data scientist on our team, you will apply the appropriate technologies and best practices to autonomously solve difficult problems. You'll contribute to the science solution design, run experiments, research new algorithms, and find new ways of optimizing customer experience. Besides theoretical analysis and innovation, you will work closely with talented engineers and ML scientists to put your algorithms and models into practice. You will collaborate with partner teams including engineering, PMs, data annotators, and other scientists to discuss data quality, policy, and model development. Your work will directly impact the trust customers place in Amazon Privacy, globally.
JP, 13, Tokyo
The JP Economics team is a central science team working across a variety of topics in the JP Retail business and beyond. We work closely with JP business leaders to drive change at Amazon. We focus on solving long-term, ambiguous and challenging problems, while providing advisory support to help solve short-term business pain points. Key topics include pricing, product selection, delivery speed, profitability, and customer experience. We tackle these issues by building novel economic/econometric models, machine learning systems, and high-impact experiments which we integrate into business, financial, and system-level decision making. Our work is highly collaborative and we regularly partner with JP- EU- and US-based interdisciplinary teams. In this role, you will build ground-breaking, state-of-the-art causal inference models to guide multi-billion-dollar investment decisions around the global Amazon marketplaces. You will own, execute, and expand a research roadmap that connects science, business, and engineering and contributes to Amazon's long term success. As one of the first economists outside North America/EU, you will make an outsized impact to our international marketplaces and pioneer in expanding Amazon’s economist community in Asia. The ideal candidate will be an experienced economist in empirical industrial organization, labour economics, econometrics, or related structural/reduced-form causal inference fields. You are a self-starter who enjoys ambiguity in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment. You think big on the next game-changing opportunity but also dive deep into every detail that matters. You insist on the highest standards and are consistent in delivering results. Key job responsibilities Work with Product, Finance, Data Science, and Data Engineering teams across the globe to deliver data-driven insights and products for regional and world-wide launches. Innovate on how Amazon can leverage data analytics to better serve our customers through selection and pricing. Contribute to building a strong data science community in Amazon Asia.
GB, London
Are you excited about applying economic models and methods using large data sets to solve real world business problems? Then join the Economic Decision Science (EDS) team. EDS is an economic science team based in the EU Stores business. The teams goal is to optimize and automate business decision making in the EU business and beyond. An internship at Amazon is an opportunity to work with leading economic researchers on influencing needle-moving business decisions using incomparable datasets and tools. It is an opportunity for PhD students and recent PhD graduates in Economics or related fields. We are looking for detail-oriented, organized, and responsible individuals who are eager to learn how to work with large and complicated data sets. Knowledge of econometrics, as well as basic familiarity with Stata, R, or Python is necessary. Experience with SQL would be a plus. As an Economics Intern, you will be working in a fast-paced, cross-disciplinary team of researchers who are pioneers in the field. You will take on complex problems, and work on solutions that either leverage existing academic and industrial research, or utilize your own out-of-the-box pragmatic thinking. In addition to coming up with novel solutions and prototypes, you may even need to deliver these to production in customer facing products. Roughly 85% of previous intern cohorts have converted to full time economics employment at Amazon.
US, CA, Cupertino
We're looking for an Applied Scientist to help us secure Amazon's most critical data. In this role, you'll work closely with internal security teams to design and build AR-powered systems that protect our customers' data. You will build on top of existing formal verification tools developed by AWS and develop new methods to apply those tools at scale. You will need to be innovative, entrepreneurial, and adaptable. We move fast, experiment, iterate and then scale quickly, thoughtfully balancing speed and quality. 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 host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences. Work/Life Balance Our team puts a high value on work-life balance. It isn’t about how many hours you spend at home or at work; it’s about the flow you establish that brings energy to both parts of your life. We believe striking the right balance between your personal and professional life is critical to life-long happiness and fulfillment. We offer flexibility in working hours and encourage you to find your own balance between your work and personal lives. Mentorship & Career Growth Our team is dedicated to supporting new members. We have a broad mix of experience levels and tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorship. Our senior members enjoy one-on-one mentoring and thorough, but kind, code reviews. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded engineer and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future. Key job responsibilities Deeply understand AR techniques for analyzing programs and other systems, and keep up with emerging ideas from the research community. Engage with our customers to develop understanding of their needs. Propose and develop solutions that leverage symbolic reasoning services and concepts from programming languages, theorem proving, formal verification and constraint solving. Implement these solutions as services and work with others to deploy them at scale across Payments and Healthcare. Author papers and present your work internally and externally. Train new teammates, mentor others, participate in recruiting and interviewing, and participate in our tactical and strategic planning. About the team Our small team of applied scientists works within a larger security group, supporting thousands of engineers who are developing Amazon's payments and healthcare services. Security is a rich area for automated reasoning. Most other approaches are quite ad-hoc and take a lot of human effort. AR can help us to reason deliberately and systematically, and the dream of provable security is incredibly compelling. We are working to make this happen at scale. We partner closely with our larger security group and with other automated reasoning teams in AWS that develop core reasoning services.
US, NY, New York
Search Thematic Ad Experience (STAX) team within Sponsored Products is looking for a leader to lead a team of talented applied scientists working on cutting-edge science to innovate on ad experiences for Amazon shoppers!. You will manage a team of scientists, engineers, and PMs to innovate new widgets on Amazon Search page to improve shopper experience using state-of-the-art NLP and computer vision models. You will be leading some industry first experiences that has the potential to revolutionize how shopping looks and feels like on Amazon, and e-commerce marketplaces in general. You will have the opportunity to design the vision on how ad experiences look on Amazon search page, and use the combination of advanced techniques and continuous experimentation to realize this vision. Your work will be core to Amazon’s advertising business. You will be a significant contributor in building the future of sponsored advertising, directly impacting the shopper experience for our hundreds of millions of shoppers worldwide, while delivering significant value for hundreds of thousands of advertisers across the purchase journey with ads on Amazon. Key job responsibilities * Be the technical leader in Machine Learning; lead efforts within the team, and collaborate and influence across the organization. * Be a critic, visionary, and execution leader. Invent and test new product ideas that are powered by science that addresses key product gaps or shopper needs. * Set, plan, and execute on a roadmap that strikes the optimal balance between short term delivery and long term exploration. You will influence what we invest in today and tomorrow. * Evangelize the team’s science innovation within the organization, company, and in key conferences (internal and external). * Be ruthless with prioritization. You will be managing a team which is highly sought after. But not all can be done. Have a deep understanding of the tradeoffs involved and be fierce in prioritizing. * Bring clarity, direction, and guidance to help teams navigate through unsolved problems with the goal to elevate the shopper experience. We work on ambiguous problems and the right approach is often unknown. You will bring your rich experience to help guide the team through these ambiguities, while working with product and engineering in crisply defining the science scope and opportunities. * Have strong product and business acumen to drive both shopper improvements and business outcomes. A day in the life * Lead a multidisciplinary team that embodies “customer obsessed science”: inventing brand new approaches to solve Amazon’s unique problems, and using those inventions in software that affects hundreds of millions of customers * Dive deep into our metrics, ongoing experiments to understand how and why they are benefitting our shoppers (or not) * Design, prototype and validate new widgets, techniques, and ideas. Take end-to-end ownership of moving from prototype to final implementation. * Be an advocate and expert for STAX science to leaders and stakeholders inside and outside advertising. About the team We are the Search thematic ads experience team within Sponsored products - a fast growing team of customer-obsessed engineers, technologists, product leaders, and scientists. We are focused on continuous exploration of contexts and creatives to drive value for both our customers and advertisers, through continuous innovation. We focus on new ads experiences globally to help shoppers make the most informed purchase decision while helping shortcut the time to discovery that shoppers are highly likely to engage with. We also harvest rich contextual and behavioral signals that are used to optimize our backend models to continually improve the shopper experience. We obsess about our customers and are continuously seeking opportunities to delight them.
US, CA, Palo Alto
Amazon is the 4th most popular site in the US. Our product search engine, one of the most heavily used services in the world, indexes billions of products and serves hundreds of millions of customers world-wide. We are working on a new initiative to transform our search engine into a shopping engine that assists customers with their shopping missions. We look at all aspects of search CX, query understanding, Ranking, Indexing and ask how we can make big step improvements by applying advanced Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) techniques. We’re seeking a thought leader to direct science initiatives for the Search Relevance and Ranking at Amazon. This person will also be a deep learning practitioner/thinker and guide the research in these three areas. They’ll also have the ability to drive cutting edge, product oriented research and should have a notable publication record. This intellectual thought leader will help enhance the science in addition to developing the thinking of our team. This leader will direct and shape the science philosophy, planning and strategy for the team, as we explore multi-modal, multi lingual search through the use of deep learning . We’re seeking an individual that can enhance the science thinking of our team: The org is made of 60+ applied scientists, (2 Principal scientists and 5 Senior ASMs). This person will lead and shape the science philosophy, planning and strategy for the team, as we push into Deep Learning to solve problems like cold start, discovery and personalization in the Search domain. Joining this team, you’ll experience the benefits of working in a dynamic, entrepreneurial environment, while leveraging the resources of Amazon [Earth's most customer-centric internet company]. We provide a highly customer-centric, team-oriented environment in our offices located in Palo Alto, California.