Alexa Alexa, Show Me the Money (9)

Hello and Happy Wednesday! It has been an eventful past few days. To catch the readers up to speed, Monday included a site visit to Amazon, an 8-mile stress run, and lots of deep thinking about how technology will eventually end all of mankind.

For me, hearing from Amazon and AWS was everything I anticipated this program being about and more. When we first arrived, we were to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This signaled that there were highly important and confidential things occurring in that building while we were there, which I believe added value and legitimacy to the experience.

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We weren’t allowed to take any pictures at Amazon because of the NDA, but this was taken in the lobby of the other Amazon building we mistakenly went to originally lol

The first presenter spoke about Alexa. Not only did he give an excellent sales pitch, he enlightened us with information regarding the future implications of voice-recognition technology. Interestingly, we learned Amazon does not charge companies that want to integrate Alexa into their existing technology. This is because Amazon anticipates larger profits in the future when Alexa’s capabilities become a necessity for consumers; once consumers cannot imagine driving a car without built-in Alexa, Amazon will profit. For now, they will settle by integrating Alexa into as many technologies as possible in order to ingrain its use into the minds of consumers.

Next, we had the opportunity to hear from an operations representative from Amazon Web Services (AWS). Our group went in expecting the presentations and discussions to focus on Amazon.com, distribution centers, and logistics; to our surprise, the focus on the site visit was mainly on the AWS side of things. Although we expected the talk to align more with the supply chain discipline, this presentation appealed more to the information systems students like myself.

The discussion focused on topics of cloud computing and machine learning, which are both of high personal interest. We got to see just how many well-known global conglomerates and technology startups use AWS for cloud computing services. We learned that AWS’ stock price actually went up when its services went down; this brief catastrophe worked to inform enough companies and people about AWS’ powerful cloud computing capabilities for its stock price to increase. I am confident this is a feat only Amazon is capable of.

This visit to Amazon was truly powerful, and learning more about Alexa and AWS confirmed my interest in a career in technology. Further, it made me consider the idea of a career in AWS’ cloud computing space.

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