Amazon extends AI development race to college classrooms

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon is betting that college students will help them to discover new frontiers with its Alexa technology, and is using college fellowship programs to recruit the nation's best and brightest engineering students to develop intellectual property for the company. 
  • The Alexa Fund Fellows program is currently in schools like Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California and Waterloo University.
  • It pairs students with professors to help develop innovation in voice recognition technology and is backed by a $100 million investment from the company's foundation. 

Dive Insight:

Colleges are becoming central locations for major tech companies like Google and Uber in the frantic search for how to produce new consumer-based capacity for artificial intelligence and develop strategies for global marketplace delivery. AI is not only reshaping computer science curricula, but is also a consideration for how to develop stronger and more sustainable partnership with private corporations. Amazon, Google and other companies are major investors in scholarships and research, which is the priority for most institutions working to increase student affordability and postgraduate work outcomes for students. 

Additionally, academic leaders can develop faculty incentives for work within these partnerships, by considering bonuses for professors who develop patented technologies or reducing teaching loads as benefits for innovation in the classroom and research labs. 

Filed Under: Higher Ed Technology