Industrial applications for AI: Amazon fulfillment centre

Spotlight on the industrial application of AI and robotics by Amazon.

This visit to the London UK, state of the art fulfillment centre presented a great opportunity to learn about and appreciate the safe use of AI and robotics in a real world industrial application.

During the visit, organised by Lord Tim Clement Jones (Co-Chair APPG AI), Professor Birgitte Anderson (CEO Big Innovation Centre) and the All Party Parliamentary Group for AI (APPG AI), Amazon kindly shared information about its use of AI. It is implemented in a controlled way and is of benefit to the employees and the stakeholders.

The technology is driven by data, sensor inputs and visual data, and its performance is monitored by people.

The state of the art robotics devices respond in real time to the AI in a way which results in Amazon achieving their time to fulfillment goal of 2 hours from customer order.

With a strong learning and development focus and care for the wellbeing of the people otherwise known as “associates”, the leaders showed us how they walk the walk by behaving in the way they expect the associates to behave on the factory floor.

The safety of almost 3000 Amazon “associates” working in this facility, is augmented by the use of video surveillance cameras for exception reporting while still respecting their privacy.

This was a great learning experience into the benefits of AI driven technology in fulfillment, and also provded insights into what its limitations are. People are not designed out. Nevertheless AI is playing a substantial role in helping Amazon achieve their customer obsession goals which in-turn create more employment opportunities in the local area. Finally, the talent behind the robotics and ML/AI cannot be underestimated.

For information about Anekanta Consulting‘s role in safe and ethical AI and sensor technology strategy please contact us at ask@anekanta.co.uk

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