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Amazon expands US tech hub in machine learning push

Amazon is creating an additional 2,000 technology jobs in fields such as machine learning, speech science, cloud computing and robotics engineering, as it looks to ramp up its Alexa offering.

The new jobs will be based in the company’s Boston technology hub, one of more than a dozen Amazon tech hubs in the US, where 1,200 software developers and scientists primarily focus on Alexa, Audible and Amazon Web Services.

In particular, the Boston team contributes to the Alexa customer experience, leading the industry in its shift toward conversational artificial intelligence through cutting-edge research and development in machine learning.

“Amazon is excited to create 2,000 more jobs in greater Boston,” said Amazon’s vice president and head scientist of Amazon Alexa, Rohit Prasad, who is based in the Boston area.

“In just a few years, we’ve grown from a handful of software developers and scientists to a team of more than 1,200, inventing new capabilities and products on behalf of millions of customers around the world.”

To accommodate the new job creation, Amazon will be expanding into 430,000 square feet (approximately 40,000sqm) in the WS Development in Boston’s waterfront Seaport district. The new space, which will open in 2021, will allow the company to double its tech workforce in the region.

Amazon is committed to strengthening the talent pipeline for careers in the technology sector, and the construction of the facility is expected to generate additional funding for job training programs in Boston.

The company offers a wide range of programs to support job seekers in gaining skills for jobs of the future, from paid cloud computing apprenticeships specifically designed for military veterans, to a technical academy that helps employees gain fundamental coding and problem skills for software engineering roles.

Amazon’s customer fulfillment associates can also take advantage of its Career Choice initiative, which prepays 95 percent of the cost of tuition to pursue continuing education courses in certain in-demand fields. To date, more than 16,000 of Amazon’s 566,000 employees worldwide have taken advantage of its job-retraining programs.

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