Amazon’s Alexa to help spur 100,000 new jobs at tech juggernaut

US online juggernaut is expanding beyond e-commerce and expects its artificial intelligence program Alexa to help push its US workforce above 280,000.

Artificial Intelligence systems in action at the Museum of the Future Museum Tour at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai last year. Amazon's AI program Alexa is set to spur a surge in hirings at the company. Victor Besa / The National.
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Amazon plans to add 100,000 US jobs over the next 18 months, to bring its American workforce to over 280,000.

“These new job opportunities are for people all across the country and with all types of experience, education and skill levels – from engineers and software developers to those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training,” the tech giant said on Thursday.

The move comes with Amazon expanding from its origins as an online retailer to a diversified tech company offering streaming video and music, cloud computing and home automation through its artificial intelligence program Alexa.

“Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it’s created hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” said the Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos.

Amazon said “many” of the new jobs would be in new “fulfillment centres” or warehouses where goods are stored for consumer delivery.

“These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley – they’re in our customer service network, fulfillment centers and other facilities in local communities throughout the country.”

Mr Bezos said new workers will be needed “as we open new fulfillment centers and continue to invent in areas like cloud technology, machine learning, and advanced logistics”.

Amazon’s announcement comes amid a push by the president-elect Donald Trump to create more American jobs and deter US companies from outsourcing to countries with low-cost labor.

Mr Bezos and Mr Trump were at odds during the 2016 presidential campaign but the Amazon founder was among technology executives who met the president-elect last month in New York.

The company noted that it also helps to stimulate jobs and the economy through its Amazon Marketplace, which allows people to sell goods over the online platform, and Amazon Flex, which allows people to drive and deliver on a part-time basis.


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