"A highly educated labor pool is critical and a strong university system is required," the RFP reads, adding that the location should have "the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent." A new study from the Brookings Institution looks at which of Amazon's top 20 cities surpass that criteria.
For years, tech giants and their CEOs could count on glowing praise and friendly media coverage that hyped up just how much their products would change the world. Those changes are now the subject of growing skepticism from politicians, academics and that same media. Election meddling, concerns about privacy and questions about technology's role in our daily lives have muddied the waters for the Silicon Valley giants, which now face tough questions and scrutiny like they've never seen before.
Kamau Bobb is senior director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech. In this column, Bobb cites the lack of students of color in STEM majors, a failure that he believes ought to be on everyone’s mind as Atlanta pursues Amazon’s second headquarters. He contends the plan to lure Amazon here must consider how Georgia can democratize computing so STEM opportunities are open to all students.
The race to win Amazon’s search for a second headquarters just ticked over into Phase Two. For many, like my hometown of Philadelphia, it brings with it an exciting validation and kicks off a new round of exuberant pitching. But for others, it’s a kick of a different kind -- and one that might prompt some collective soul searching.
Chinese and American tech giants are preparing for a showdown that may shape the future of artificial intelligence. China’s cloud providers, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, are getting ready to do battle with US giants Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to deliver AI online. As Chinese companies seek to expand their reach, they may increasingly aim their cloud services at US companies and developers, and vice versa.
Amazon’s first Amazon Go store opened today in Seattle, automating most of the purchase, checkout, and payment steps associated with a retail transaction and replacing cash registers, cashiers, credit cards, self-checkout kiosks, RFID chips -- and lines -- with hundreds of small cameras, computer vision, deep-learning algorithms, and sensor fusion.
For the past year, Amazon employees have been test driving Amazon Go, an experimental convenience store in downtown Seattle. The idea is to let consumers walk in, pick up items and then pay for them without ever standing in line at a cashier. Amazon is vague on the mechanics, but the store relies on a mobile app and some of the same sensing technology that powers self-driving cars to figure out who is buying what.
Some have heralded Amazon’s search for their second headquarters as a wake-up call to policymakers about the need for increased computer science and STEM education funding. While the goals are laudable, it is easy to overlooks a significant problem with the growth of companies such as Amazon and others -- It often comes at the expense of local education funding.
Since they’re planning on bringing as much as $5 billion in investment and as many as 50,000 jobs, they have the leverage to come to the table with a pretty specific wish list. The tech giant wants to set up in a city of over a million people, with stable business growth, good local transit options, an international airport and a university hub for recruiting. On top of this they’d like an ethnically diverse local population and are offering bonus points for sustainable infrastructure.