Amazon’s Poaches eBay Exec To Push Machine-Learning Play

There’s a new sheriff in town in Amazon‘s AI operations: Hassan Sawaf, who heretofore was doing the same job at eBay. Sawaf will now head Amazon’s A9 labs, and his hire away from one of Amazon’s chief rivals comes as the cap to a week’s worth of activity that strongly indicates that Amazon is getting very serious very fast about artificial intelligence. Also on the recent punchline has been the acquisition of a U.K.-based AI firm and an investment in natural language processing startup DefinedCrowd. In the last few years, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has put $2 million toward funding machine-learning professorships. Hired into those jobs were Turi CEO Carlos Guestrin and his wife, Emily Fox, at the University of Washington.  Turi was built out of an open-source project first developed…

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