AfroTech logo and headshots of  Dela Agbemabiese, Justin Barry, Nashlie Sephus and Colby Wise.
With AfroTech World occurring this week, we asked some of the company's Black scientists what they consider some of the systemic issues limiting underrepresented minorities from being more involved in the technology industry. We heard from Dela Agbemabiese (lower left), a data scientist, Justin Barry (upper left), applied scientist, Nashlie Sephus (upper right), applied science manager, and Colby Wise (lower right), senior deep learning scientist.
Credit: Glynis Condon

Issues of racial, ethnic and gender diversity are on the agenda at AfroTech World

Amazon scientists provide insights on issues related to lack of involvement of underrepresented minorities in the technology industry.

As CNBC reported earlier this year, six years after initially disclosing diversity reports, major technology companies have made little progress in hiring more minorities, especially Black employees with science and technology skills.

This presents a series of ongoing challenges. According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly one-quarter of the country’s total economic output is produced by high-tech industries, and in 2017 BLS projected there would be more than 1 million job openings in computer and information technology over the next 10 years. Moreover, computing occupation salaries are more than twice the median wage for all other occupations, according to BLS.

“When we look at tech and its impact on our economy, and the simultaneous underrepresentation of the Black community, it is a critically important racial and economic justice issue," says Allison Scott, CEO of the Kapor Center. “When the tech workforce and leadership reflects the diverse experiences and backgrounds of our nation, I believe tech can begin to play an integral role in addressing long-standing disparities that exist in this country.”

As of December 31, 2019, Amazon reported that 26.5% of its global workforce identifies as Black/African American, 26.5% Asian, 18.5% Hispanic/Latinx, 1.3% as Native American, and 3.6% as two or more races.  The 26.5% of employees who identify as Black/African American work in both non-technical and technical roles.

This week at AfroTech World, issues related to the lack of adequate racial, ethnic, and gender diversity within the technology industry are on the agenda as leaders in technology and business come together to exchange ideas for creating greater opportunity for Blacks in technology.  Amazon is a Diamond Sponsor of this year’s event, and has a virtual recruiting booth.  

On Nov. 13, the company is hosting a virtual event, “Our Voices, Our Power”, presented by Amazon’s Black Employee Network (BEN) affinity group. Attendees will hear employees share their Amazon journey stories, learn about career opportunities, and enjoy entertainment.

In advance of AfroTech, Amazon Science asked some of the company’s Black scientists what they consider some of the systemic issues limiting underrepresented minorities’ involvement in the technology industry, about some of the issues they have had to overcome in pursuing their science careers, who or what inspired them to pursue their science careers, and what lessons we might take from their individual experiences. 

Dela Agbemabiese is a data scientist within Amazon’s advertising organization. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from Drexel University.

Dela Agbemabiese
Dela Agbemabiese

What do you consider some of the systemic issues limiting underrepresented minorities from greater employment opportunities in the technology industry?

Lack of financial resources to stimulate curiosity in tech, lack of mentors or heroes to look up to due to low representation, and societal prejudice hindering opportunities.

Lack of financial resources to stimulate curiosity in tech. I have been fortunate and blessed my entire life.  All gratitude goes to my parents. I was born in Ghana, West Africa. My mom was a nurse, and my dad an economist. Due to the nature of my dad’s work, I got the opportunity to travel a lot as a kid, got enrolled into a course at eight years old to get a Linux command line certificate, and always had access to tech resources. My parents sacrificed to ensure I attended the best schools, and there is not a single thing I ever asked for that I did not get. This may not be the case for all children, whose parents are possibly working hard doing multiple jobs, and in some cases are single parents. If the financial resources I had were similar to that of many minority children, it would be unlikely for me to be where I am today.

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Lack of mentors or heroes to look up to due to low representation. While my dad was heavy on econometrics and I learned a thing or two from him, it was my cousin Martey to whom I looked up. He was brilliant academically, and I always wanted to be like him. He tutored me in math and physics, thus giving me an edge over my classmates. Martey was not my only mentor, in fact, I had many, including Yao Obeng, who helped me nurture my creativity and problem-solving skills. Many minority children may not have mentors or heroes within tech to encourage and inspire interest in tech-related careers. If I did not have these mentors to motivate me, it would be unlikely for me to be where I am today.

Societal prejudice hindering opportunities. Growing up in Ghana, prejudice did not exist from a racial standpoint. Once I moved to the United States for my undergraduate degree, this became a reality. My minority friends and I have had to work twice as hard as our peers to prove we are as good as our credentials. We strived to invalidate stereotypes about minorities through the quality of our work and our work ethic. With everything I do, in the back of my mind I am thinking about how my actions or inactions affect the perception towards minorities: am I enabling some of these unfounded prejudices? Or am I, through my work, educating my peers and superiors? For me, this societal prejudice only began when I came to the United States for my undergraduate degree, but imagine the minority children out there who have had to live with this their entire lives. It sure can get demoralizing.

What are some of the obstacles you had to overcome in pursuing your science career?

Societal prejudice hindering opportunities. I have been lucky to have managers and peers that are inclusive and open-minded, that judge me based on the quality of my work. Rachel McKitrick was my first manager in Amazon. I joined Amazon as a business analyst, despite my previous role as a senior data scientist. I just wanted to join Amazon! Rachel knew my business analyst role was not ideal, and gave me projects that were science oriented, which ultimately enabled my transition to scientist. My second manager, Monica Wu, always made herself available to chat and made me feel like my voice and opinion mattered. My current team managed by Dauwe Vercamer and Andrew Petschek welcomed me with open arms, gave me opportunities to shine and lead within the team. They provide direct feedback that has made me a much better scientist today.

I have had the privilege of learning from a lot of people. Societal prejudice may be harder to solve for, but I believe a good place to start will be to find means for minority youth to gain access to some of the brilliant minds within the technology industry, be it through some virtual teaching programs, or through some mentoring programs. The prejudice may exist, the financial resources may be sparse or non-existent, but with heroes and mentors to look up to, a child’s imagination can be sparked for what could be.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your science career, and what lessons can we take from your experience?

My dad due to his econometrics background, and my childhood mentors who encouraged me to put math and science ahead of basketball and soccer. Since then, I have had lots of mentors along the way, especially here at Amazon. Individuals such as Leo Razoumov, Pranjal Mallick, Amy Ruschak, John Lafayette, and Oded Netzer, who have helped shape me into a better scientist.

My advice to Black students interested in a STEM career, or other Black scientists is to find mentors, and get them involved in your work. Meet with them once a week for even 10 minutes, and let them influence your work.

Justin Barry is an applied scientist with Amazon’s Prime Video organization. He earned his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Central Florida.

Justin Barry
Justin Barry

What do you consider some of the systemic issues limiting underrepresented minorities from greater employment opportunities in the technology industry?

This is a massive topic with a myriad of associated socioeconomic issues. One issue that jumps to the forefront for me is the schools where leading companies within the tech industry recruit from. Traditionally, these companies have limited their recruitment to top universities where Blacks and other underrepresented minorities comprise a small percentage of the student population. This is beginning to change, but I believe technology companies need to more aggressively expand their recruitment efforts, especially among historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

What are some of the obstacles you had to overcome in pursuing your science career?

One issue is imposter syndrome — the idea that you're not good enough and you’re only in your position because you’ve been given special treatment. Although imposter syndrome is something everyone experiences, I think it’s particularly acute for Blacks given the clear underrepresentation within the technology industry. Imposter syndrome can touch all aspects of your job if you’re unaware, or if you don’t have the tools to deal with it. Not everyone has the tools to deal with it, and I suspect not everyone has correctly identified the problem.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your science career, and what lessons can we take from your experience?

Video games sparked my interest in computer science, and more specifically artificial intelligence. My undergraduate degree is in computer science and math, and machine learning and AI provide the opportunity to apply my computer science and math skills to real-world applications.

Nashlie Sephus is an applied science manager within Amazon Web Services Ai. She earned her PhD in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech.

Nashlie Sephus
Nashlie Sephus

What do you consider some of the systemic issues limiting underrepresented minorities from greater employment opportunities in the technology industry?

Imposter syndrome is one issue I find common within underrepresented minority groups. It’s a feeling of being convinced that you don’t belong in the industry, or within advanced roles in the industry, regardless of your accolades and accomplishments. It is as if they are not real or didn’t happen. This is often due to not seeing many others who look like you in similar or higher positions. ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ is a common thought. Also, there are few mentors or support systems for these groups, and as a black/female/engineer/scientist, you sometimes feel like the minority of the minority, which further isolates you.  

What are some of the obstacles you had to overcome in pursuing your science career?

At times, I have had to fight for myself and members of my teams for equal pay and advancement in my career. I also have needed to develop mechanisms to be heard when it was difficult to convey messages to those around me. I’m usually quiet and reserved, but over the years I’ve learned how to gain respect from peers by being more outspoken even, or especially, when I disagreed. This is one reason why I appreciate Amazon’s leadership principle: Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit. 

Who or what inspired you to pursue your science career, and what lessons can we take from your experience?

I grew up in a house full of women where we often did our own chores, like fixing and repairing things around the house. I was also always going to summer math and science camps in elementary and middle school, especially a summer engineering camp for girls after my eighth grade science teacher recommended I attend. This was when I was first introduced to the various areas of engineering, and fell in love with computer science. Being able to control the hardware with software was fascinating to me. I knew then that’s what I wanted to do. This early exposure to science was key to me figuring out one of my passions, in addition to music and sports.

Colby Wise is a senior deep learning scientist and manager within the AWS Machine Learning Solutions Lab. He earned his master’s degree in computer science from the Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Colby Wise
Colby Wise

What do you consider some of the systemic issues limiting underrepresented minorities from greater employment opportunities in the technology industry?

Educational opportunity. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers in the technology industry are highly competitive. Over the years, we’ve seen advanced tools and technologies like cloud technology, machine learning, and deep learning, that were once reserved only for large companies or prestigious universities being utilized by students as early as junior high school. While this has created and accelerated educational opportunities for millions of students globally, the reality is that not all have been able to benefit. In the United States, public school funding varies significantly by geography, and where you grow up is a major factor in access to educational resources. Schools with advanced STEM courses and other after-school programs are valuable inroads for STEM students to accelerate their learning opportunities and explore careers in science. What’s more, these opportunities compound positively from lower educational levels to higher educational levels. While not the only factor, these programs are important when understanding the pipeline of underrepresented minorities in highly competitive industries like technology. For example, the US Federal Reserve conducted a study highlighting how educational attainment of parents plays an important role in children’s educational pursuits. Studies like this and others indicate that lower parental educational attainment may present a unique challenge for students. One potential consequence of underrepresentation of minorities in advanced degrees is that employment opportunities often arise from one’s social network, employee referrals, for example. This can be summarized as both an employment funnel problem and a network problem. While not always the case, a more diverse workforce can build connections to underrepresented talent pools. 

Financial equality. In a study from 2020, the US Federal Reserve found large and persistent gaps in net wealth and earnings by race and ethnicity. While education is a significant factor in wage gaps, the St. Louis Federal Reserve found net wealth by race was not as positively correlated with educational attainment for minorities. Educational attainment is extremely important. Many highly technical roles require advanced degrees. Financial equality and opportunity as characterized by job salary prospects, current income and net wealth, and access to educational funding sources like loans are all potential factors impacting lower minority employment. In 2016, the Brookings Institution found the median household net wealth for Black and Hispanic families to be 1/8th  that of white households. When you consider the rising cost of college and advanced degrees, this income and net wealth gap may also play a factor in why employment among underrepresented minorities is lower in highly competitive industries like technology. Specifically, minorities whose households cannot readily pay for advanced degrees choose between the implications of high debt burdens and lower comparative earnings, and often must forsake advanced degrees to enter or stay in the workforce.

Leadership representation. Representation of minorities in leadership positions is relatively low. It is unclear how much educational opportunity and financial equality contribute to this, compared to other issues such as equitable pathways to senior leadership positions. In many companies in which I have worked, you notice a similar triangular pattern of minority leadership where representation at junior levels is more in-line with industry trends, while there is a dearth of representation as you reach more senior positions. No doubt there is work to be done to drive greater employment of underrepresented minorities at all levels. But simply increasing the representation at entry levels does not address other attrition and talent-retention hurdles. Overall, companies need to take a more systematic, data-driven approach to move the needle and find solutions to underrepresentation of minorities in the tech industry. For instance, companies should not be afraid to tackle the complex issues at multiple hierarchies, such as creating innovative solutions to drive educational opportunity while objectively measuring current pathways to employment within the tech industry. Furthermore, companies should ensure financial equality by aligning corporate incentives with fair pay distributions, minority leadership representation, and talent development and retention.  

What are some of the obstacles you had to overcome in pursuing your science career?

Educational opportunity. While everyone’s path is different, unfortunately my story is rather common given its similarity to those of many underrepresented minorities. I faced and overcame obstacles in educational and financial opportunity plus roadblocks to leadership roles. I attribute my luck mainly to the many individuals who provided a helping hand, plus a little bit of hard work sprinkled in. I grew up in a single-parent household in an impoverished, high-crime inner-city area. Despite this, my family valued education highly, and one of my parents had an advanced degree which was extremely rare for the area. Given that, I always ranked in the top 1% in my coursework while very young. That said, district educational attainment rates were low, and advanced coursework or programs for gifted students were nonexistent. However, prior to high school an unfortunate family event led to me moving from one of the poorest areas in the country to one of the best school districts nationally. After discovering how far behind I was in math and science, my family and I worked extremely hard over several years to get me back in line with my expected academic grade level. Now fast-forwarding to college: I, like many other minorities, did not have the means to pay for college, nor easy access to loans. After being selected to a number of great schools, my decision was ultimately driven by the amount of money I received in scholarships and grants. During college I followed the same recipe for success: tons of luck, humility to ask for help, and a bit of hard work to land an internship as a sophomore at a prestigious Wall Street investment bank. There I was surrounded by some of the smartest minds in STEM, with many having achieved advanced degrees from top universities around the world. The vast majority of these individuals did not look like me. Desperately wanting to be accepted and succeed among my peers in industry is what drove me to pursue a career in science, and many years later brought me to AWS.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your science career, and what lessons can we take from your experience?

Family and friends. Ultimately, doing what you love and constantly learning while being curious is the greatest inspiration one needs to pursue a career in science. As discussed above, studies have shown a correlation between parental educational attainment and children’s attainment. Thinking forward a bit, I combined my passion for what I love in science — AI/ML — with a selfish goal of wanting to be a living model for a career in science for my children. My greatest inspiration, however, is my wife. She discovered her passion for science at a very young age with plentiful opportunities to explore that passion, ultimately helping her reach the pinnacles of academia, where she received undergraduate and graduate degrees from two of the top universities in the world. Her passion for science, hard work, and humility continue to inspire me on a daily basis.


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Come join the Alexa Artificial Intelligence (AI) team, building the speech and language solutions behind Amazon Echo and other products and services! You will help us invent the future.Job responsibilitiesAs an Applied Scientist with the Alexa AI team, you will research and create models, and improve models for natural language processing and speech recognition problems. You will gain hands-on experience with Amazon’s heterogeneous structured data sources, as well as large-scale computing resources, to accelerate advances in training deep neural networks for natural language understanding and automatic speech recognition on thousands of hours of speech. You will support solving highly visible and impactful business problems in areas of new product development, automation, self-service solution, and quality improvement to continue to delight Alexa customers and help drive Amazon business performance.The ideal candidate should be passionate about delivering experiences that delight customers, and creating solutions that are robust. They will also create reliable, scalable and high performance products that require exceptional technical expertise, and a sound understanding of the fundamentals of Machine Learning.Amazon 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, please visit https://www.amazon.jobs/en/disability/us.
US, WA, Seattle
Do you want to build solutions to help scientists do more, faster? Join us!The Amazon GTM Science team is an innovative organization that exists to propel Amazon HR toward being the most scientific HR organization on earth. The mission of GTM Science is to use Science to assist and measurably improve every talent decision made at Amazon. GTM Science does this by discovering signals in workforce data, infusing intelligence into Amazon’s talent products, and guiding the broader GTM team to pursue high-impact opportunities with tangible returns. This multi-disciplinary approach spans capabilities, including: data engineering, reporting and analytics, research and behavioral sciences, and applied sciences such as economics and machine learning.We are seeking a data scientist to help build the tools necessary for our multidisciplinary science teams to scale up their impact. The Research Operations and Services team works backwards from the problems our research face to introduce lightweight tools and processes that help our teams scale. In this role you will identify opportunities to develop tools which can help our science teams scale, enabling them to produce insights more rapidly.In this role you will:· Lead the strategy and development of researcher tools focused on data access, cleaning, and standardization· Identify and formalize internal tools which may benefit researchers across Amazon· Own the identification, scoping, and development of additional high impact research solutions· Partner closely with researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of existing tools and work to improve them· Partner closely with product and tech teams on the integration of our tools and solutions· Contribute to multi-disciplinary research efforts that guide Amazon’s talent management practices·
US, WA, Seattle
We are a team of doers working passionately to apply cutting-edge advances in diagnostics technology to solve real-world problems. As a Molecular Biology Research Scientist, you will work with a unique and gifted team developing exciting medical diagnostic products and collaborate with cross-functional teams. Our team rewards intellectual curiosity while maintaining a laser-focus in bringing products to market. Competitive candidates are responsive, flexible, and able to succeed within an open, collaborative, entrepreneurial, startup-like environment. At the cutting edge of both academic and applied research in this product area, you have the opportunity to work together with some of the most talented scientists, engineers, and product managers.The Molecular Biology Research Scientist should be an expert in using molecular tools to develop assays leading to commercially viable products. They should have a deep understanding of underlying molecular processes and biochemical components within PCR, qPCR and Next Gen Sequencing (NGS) assays. This is someone capable of diving deep into the data (requires in-depth understanding of the lab processes, for example to do root cause analysis of experimental outcome based on the data), and someone who can work independently.Inclusive Team CultureHere at Amazon, 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. Amazon’s culture of inclusion is reinforced within our 16 Leadership Principles, which remind team members to seek diverse perspectives, learn and be curious, and earn trust.Work/Life BalanceOur 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 GrowthOur 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. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded scientist and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.
US, WA, Seattle
Would you like to shape the future of the video entertainment industry for movies, TV and live sports events? Does solving complex problems within large scale, production systems excite you? If you answered yes, we have an opportunity for you!Prime Video is disrupting the traditional television and movie industry with a growing library of high-quality media. Prime Video launched in 2007 and has quickly become a strategic priority for the company, reflected in the service’s recent expansion into over 240 countries and territories worldwide.This is a big opportunity to apply Computer Vision and directly impact millions of customers.A day in the lifeIn your day-to-day activities in this role, you'll embrace the challenges of a fast paced market and evolving technologies, and develop Computer Vision and Machine Learning models to extract deep 2/3-D video-understanding of Prime Video content. You will be encouraged to see the big picture, be innovative, and iteratively develop technology to impact millions of our customers. This is a young and evolving business where creativity and drive will have a lasting impact on the way video is enjoyed worldwide.About the hiring groupThe PV-CVML team is a group of Applied Scientists working on a diverse set of 2/3-D video understanding problems while partnering with various teams across Prime Video (PV). The most unique aspect of our team is the broad set of exciting problems we get to work on for our multiple stakeholders across the entire video-streaming vertical. If you want to work on technically cutting-edge problems with massive customer impact, then our team is the perfect fit for you!Job responsibilitiesAs a member of our team, you will apply Computer Vision and Machine Learning to problems that have cross-organizational technological impact. Your work will focus on cleansing and preparing large scale datasets, training and evaluating models and deploying them to production. You will work on large engineering efforts that solve significantly complex problems facing global customers. You will be trusted to operate with independence and are often assigned to focus on areas with significant impact on audience satisfaction. You must be equally comfortable with digging in to customer requirements as you are drilling into design with development teams.We would like you to build models that can perform 2D/3D scene-understanding of all video-content available on Prime Video using computer vision, natural language processing, deep learning and advanced machine learning algorithms. We need to solve problems across many cultures and languages and have a huge amount of human-labelled data as well as operations team to generate labels across many languages to help us achieve these goals. Our team consistently strives to innovate, and holds several novel patents and inventions in the motion picture and television industry. We are highly motivated to extend the state of the art.Amazon 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, please visit https://www.amazon.jobs/en/disability/us.
US, WA, Seattle
Amazon is looking for a passionate scientist to join the sustainable energy team at AWS. Amazon is committed to powering its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy. As part of the sustainable energy team, you will develop new algorithms and solutions towards better utilizing our renewable and storage technologies on the grid. This is an exciting new role that will provide exposure to large-scale renewable projects across the globe.We are looking for an experienced Applied Scientist to build time series forecasting and reinforcement learning models for solving variety of problems managing our renewable and storage resources. You will be responsible for improving our strategy, coming up with new algorithms, and write excellent code. We are looking for someone who is customer obsessed and works backwards from customer needs and implements iterative solutions towards achieving our long-term goals.
US, CA, San Francisco
Conversational interfaces are maturing and proliferating, but significant advances in conversational AI and related technologies will need to be made before a fully conversational web is possible. Alexa.com is seeking a creative, entrepreneurial, and customer-obsessed Applied Scientist who can apply cutting edge research and state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms as part of a new project that will push the boundaries of conversational AI. This position will require you to investigate and solve complex technical problems, innovate on behalf of customers, invent new technologies, and build cornerstone services to power the next generation of online conversational applications.The ideal candidate has a broad and deep background in machine learning, is passionate about science, is highly driven to learn and deploy new technologies, thrives in a fast-paced environment that requires the development of solutions to ambiguous and challenging problems, and enjoys collaborating with both technical and nontechnical peers. As part of our AI team, you will work as a hands-on practitioner and technical leader in multiple areas such as statistical modeling, NLP and NLU, and deep learning. You will formulate and test hypotheses, evaluate and implement ML techniques, train and test new models, and deliver new production services that will be used by customers around the world.About the hiring groupAlexa.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com. At Alexa.com, we solve ML problems in natural language processing and understanding, search relevance and ranking, and digital behavior measurement and prediction. We have been gathering and analyzing data from online sources for more than 20 years, with terabytes of archived web content, a data-contributing panel of millions of users in countries around the world, and decades of experience as a leading provider of competitive analytics and marketing intelligence services. For more information, visit www.alexa.com.Job responsibilities· Develop novel modeling techniques for pattern recognition, prediction, classification, and other complex data science problems· Develop prototypes and collaborate with stakeholders to assess the feasibility of selected approaches· Write high quality code and contribute to our codebase of scientific applications using relevant technologies· Contribute to strategic planning and project management for a variety of technical initiatives· Effectively communicate with customers, senior management, and colleagues with diverse roles and technical backgrounds· Document methodologies and increase our institutional knowledge based on experimental results and operationalized solutionsAmazon 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, please visit https://www.amazon.jobs/en/disability/us.Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records
US, CA, San Francisco
Interested in being part of a team that’s pushing the bounds of what’s possible with computing?The AWS Center for Quantum Computing (CQC) is looking for a research scientist to join our growing software team. You will work closely with our physics team to enable their work measuring novel quantum devices. You will also work cross-functionally with our fabrication and design teams to ensure they have access to the design data they need.Potential projects may include:· Building tools to automate the calibration of quantum systems· Building control software to collect data from scientific instruments· Mentoring other scientists to actively contribute to the codebaseOn the AWS CQC software team we value people with a genuine curiosity towards new technologies. Prior experience with superconducting qubits is preferred but is not necessarily a prerequisite for this role.Work/Life BalanceAt the AWS CQC, we understand that developing quantum computing technology is a marathon, not a sprint. Mental and physical wellness is encouraged within our team and throughout AWS. The work/life integration within Amazon encourages a culture where employees work hard and have ownership over their downtime. We are exploring more structured wellness elements including meditation scheduling, running group meet-ups, and a culture of sharing wellness tips.Mentorship and Career GrowthWe are committed to the growth and development of every member of the Center for Quantum Computing. You will receive career-growth-minded management and mentorship from a software and science team and also have the opportunity to participate in Amazon's mentorship programs. You will work closely with quantum research scientists and have opportunities to learn about quantum computing technology and contribute to the development of scientific software for quantum computing at AWS.Inclusive and Diverse CultureHere 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.
CA, ON, Toronto
Excited by using massive amounts of data to develop Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) models? Want to help the largest global enterprises derive business value through the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Eager to learn from many different enterprise’s use cases of AWS ML and DL? Thrilled to be key part of Amazon, who has been investing in Machine Learning for decades, pioneering and shaping the world’s AI technology?At Amazon Web Services (AWS), we are helping large enterprises build ML and DL models on the AWS Cloud. We are applying predictive technology to large volumes of data and against a wide spectrum of problems. Our Professional Services organization works together with our AWS customers to address their business needs using AI.AWS Professional Services is a unique consulting team. We pride ourselves on being customer obsessed and highly focused on the AI enablement of our customers. If you have experience with AI, including building ML or DL models, we’d like to have you join our team. You will get to work with an innovative company, with great teammates, and have a lot of fun helping our customers.You enjoy diving deep into data, doing analysis, discovering root causes, and designing long-term solutions. You who like to have fun, love to learn, and want to innovate in the world of AI.You will be able to:· Understand the customer’s business need and guide them to a solution using our AWS AI Services, AWS AI Platforms, AWS AI Frameworks, and AWS AI EC2 Instances .· Assist customers by being able to deliver a ML / DL project from beginning to end, including understanding the business need, aggregating data, exploring data, building & validating predictive models, and deploying completed models to deliver business impact to the organization.· Use Deep Learning frameworks like MXNet, Caffe 2, Tensorflow, Theano, CNTK, and Keras to help our customers build DL models.· Use SparkML and Amazon Machine Learning (AML) to help our customers build ML models.· Work with our Professional Services Big Data consultants to analyze, extract, normalize, and label relevant data.· Work with our Professional Services DevOps consultants to help our customers operationalize models after they are built.· Assist customers with identifying model drift and retraining models.· Research and implement novel ML and DL approaches, including using FPGA.· Able to write production level code, which is well-written and explainable· Experience using ML libraries, such as scikit-learn, caret, mlr, mllib· Experience working with GPUs to develop models· Experience handling terabyte size datasets· Track record of diving into data to discover hidden patterns· Familiarity with using data visualization tools· Knowledge and experience of writing and tuning SQL· Past and current experience writing and speaking about complex technical concepts to broad audiences in a simplified format· Experience giving data presentations· Extended travel to customer locations may be required to deliver professional services, as needed· Strong written and verbal communication skillsThis role is open for Toronto/Vancouver/Calgary/Montreal.Inclusive Team CultureHere 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. 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 BalanceOur team puts a high value on work-live 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 GrowthOur 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 and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.
DE, BE, Berlin
Do you get excited about working on scientific problems that will have a large, significant and lasting impact for Amazon customers? Are you interested in Computer Vision and Machine Learning? Are you thrilled about working in a startup-like environment? Search no more! We have an opening for an Applied Scientist in Berlin.As an Applied Scientist, you will be driving prototypes, projects and solutions in the fields of computer vision, machine learning and image optimisation. Our work sits right at the intersection of research and engineering and we are delivering products with real world impact for Amazon Retail Experiences.Research areas our team is excited about include but are not limited to:· Image quality and image compression· Visual representation learning· Zero-shot learningMajor Responsibilities· 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· Collaborate closely with other scientists and engineers to drive systems from prototyping to production level· Collaborate with teams spread all around the world· Engage with the scientific community (within Amazon and beyond)· Think outside the box and identify novel opportunities for a better customer experienceYour work will impact the shopping experience for millions of Amazon customers every day. Your ideas allow a fast path to production at scale and help us reshape the way we think about images at Amazon.
US, CA, Manhattan Beach
The Alexa Artificial Intelligence (AI) team is looking for a passionate, talented, and inventive Senior Applied Scientist with a strong machine learning background to help build industry-leading Speech and Language technology. Our mission is to push the envelope in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and Audio Signal Processing, in order to provide the best-possible experience for our customers.Job responsibilitiesAs a Senior 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.Amazon 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, please visit https://www.amazon.jobs/en/disability/us.