Amazon To Open An R&D Facility In Barcelona In Hunt For AI Talent

In the last couple of years Amazon has emerged as an artificial intelligence market leader. Besides enhancing inventory management, improving product recommendations and search results, Amazon has used artificial intelligence in various other ways.

One area that end users get to interact with Amazon’s artificial intelligence technology is with Echo range of smart speakers which uses Alexa as the voice assistant. To expand its own artificial intelligence research Amazon has announced plans to set up a research and development facility in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

University town

Choosing Barcelona as the location of a research and development center has been attributed to the fact that the city is home to many universities and is also a magnet for talent not just from neighboring cities but also from neighboring countries. Amazon’s Barcelona research hub will located in a startup district known as [email protected] Over 100 software engineers and scientists are expected to be hired at the facility.

“Barcelona is an ideal location for our new research and development centre. It has a large network of universities, and the city’s quality of life makes it also a highly appealing destination for international talent,” said François Nuyts, the country manager and vice president of Amazon in Italy and Spain.

Cambridge R&D facility

This isn’t the only research facility Amazon has invested in outside its domestic country. Earlier in the year Amazon expanded an R&D facility located in Cambridge, England, where a new building was constructed to make room for an additional 400 software engineers, speech scientists, mathematical modelers, data scientists, knowledge engineers and machine learning scientists.

With the growth in artificial intelligence, talent has also become harder to find not just in AI but also in sub-disciplines such as deep learning and machine learning. This has led companies to begin to look beyond Silicon Valley in order to recruit.

Amazon is not the only tech company based in the United States which is setting up technology centers outside its domestic country. Google has already done with the launch of a research facility in Toronto – Google Brain Toronto. The online search giant also has another facility in Montreal, Canada. One common characteristic of these tech hubs is that they are located close to institutions of learning that offer artificial intelligence courses. This consequently offers access to researchers and scientists who are experts in the field as well as potential recruits from among the student pool.

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