Amazon's Alexa platform is their first foray into consumer-facing AI products, and thus far, it seems to be going swimmingly. A little over a year past the formal release of the Amazon Echo, the AI-based assistant platform is shaping up to be a real competitor for Google Assistant, the fruits of Mountain View's long journey into the wild world of AI and machine learning. Still, any kind of AI solution, especially one meant to have fleshed-out options and advanced natural language processing, needs a good team behind it. This is why, as their efforts with Alexa begin to expand, Amazon is looking for 400 new people to work on the AI platform and help bring the next generation of Alexa features to all of the products that carry it.
While engineers and programmers of all shapes and sizes are needed for such a project, it seems that Amazon is working hard on the audio side of things. If the job listings are to be believed, your Amazon Alexa devices will better recognize your speech, better process what you've said to it, and even play audio just a bit better. Natural speech recognition is a difficult field, and one that's highly in demand in today's AI-powered tech industry. As for the jobs that Amazon currently has open for Alexa contributors, the ideal candidate will reportedly possess "deep expertise in speech recognition, language understanding and audio processing."
The job listings are all over the radar geographically, but functionally, they seem to be mostly similar roles all centered around a singular niche. From London to Seattle and Massachusetts, Amazon is looking for a number of people to work on Alexa, most of whom will be known by the title of SDE, or "Software Development Engineer". In some areas, Amazon is also seeking management staff, machine learning experts, and even customer service and sales pros to make Alexa work better and spread its influence further than ever before. Thanks to Alexa ASK, a development kit that allows third parties to integrate their own functions and apps with Alexa, the spread of the AI assistant platform, while still mostly dependent on Amazon staff, will not be an effort exclusive to those who helped to create the platform.