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Amazon sets conference on robotics, artificial intelligence

Amazon will host a June conference on robotics and artificial intelligence, showcasing some of the technology used for its Alexa digital assistant
Amazon will host a June conference on robotics and artificial intelligence, showcasing some of the technology used for its Alexa digital assistant AFP/File
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New York (AFP)

Amazon announced plans Thursday to hold a conference open to the public on robotics, space and artificial intelligence, as well as to discuss future applications of emerging technologies.

The re:MARS conference in Las Vegas will include "visionary talks, interactive workshops, technical deep dives, roundtables, hands-on demos, and more," an Amazon statement said.

The conference called Machine learning, Automation, Robotics and Space on June 4-7 grew out of a private, invite-only event hosted by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in recent years.

"We're at the beginning of a golden age of AI," Bezos said in the statement.

"Recent advancements have already led to invention that previously lived in the realm of science fiction -- and we've only scratched the surface of what's possible."

He said the event would bring together "leaders and builders from diverse areas to share learnings and spark new ideas for future innovation."

Amazon said the conference would showcase how it is using advanced technologies for its range of services from online shopping to music and video.

"Machine learning and artificial intelligence are behind almost everything we do at Amazon," according to the company statement.

"Some of this work is highly visible, such as autonomous Prime Air delivery drones, eliminating checkout lines at Amazon Go and making everyday life more convenient for customers with Alexa.

"But much of what we do with AI and ML happens beneath the surface -- from the speed in which we deliver packages, to the broad selection and low prices we're able to offer customers, to automatic extraction of characters and places from books and videos."

Attendees will meet Amazon technology engineers and see the Blue Origin rocket capsule developed by the private space firm owned by Bezos.

Speakers will include researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Harvard Berkman Center.

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