Amazon is expanding its Boston tech hub and creating 2,000 new jobs in fields including machine learning, speech science and robotics, the company announced Tuesday.
The Seattle-based company said in a press release that it will open the doors of a new office in Boston's waterfront Seaport development in 2021, allowing it to double its workforce in the city.
The online retail giant uses its Boston base to focus on developing its digital assistant Alexa, as well as Amazon Web Services and audiobook seller Audible. With a focus on artificial intelligence and speech recognition, the new jobs are very much in line with the work the company is already doing in the city to improve customer interactions with Alexa.
"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," said Rohit Prasad, an Amazon vice president and head scientist for Alexa.
Along with the Boston hub, the Alexa team is based in Amazon's Lab126 site in Sunnyvale, California. There, the team puts its own moonshots to the test — namely, the Echo lineup of Alexa-enabled smart speakers, but also the growing number of third-party Alexa devices that aren't made by Amazon.
Meanwhile, Amazon is getting closer to naming a location that will serve as its second headquarters. More than 200 cities in the US, Canada and Mexico submitted proposals, and in January, Amazon named the 20 finalists, a list of cities that includes Atlanta, Denver, Toronto, Washington — and Boston. The company will reveal its HQ2 winner later this year.
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