business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that Amazon is using artificial intelligence (AI) tools "across a dozen of its largest warehouses to screen items for damage before orders are shipped to customers."

According to the story, the technology is expected "to cut the number of damaged items sent out, speed up picking and packing, and eventually play a critical role in the company’s efforts to automate more of its fulfillment operations."

At the moment, the Journal notes, warehouse employees have been the ones doing the screening, but the process is both time-consuming and imperfect.  The Journal writes that "Amazon has been working to further automate its warehouses as it has struggled to find workers and looked to turn some of the most physically challenging and repetitive warehouse jobs over to robots. 

"Amazon’s rollout is part of a broader push across the corporate world to bring more AI technology to logistics operations as companies try to manage complicated supply chains while keeping goods moving rapidly and reliably."

KC's View:

Jeff Bezos always took the position that people are both variable and unpredictable, and the more you could automate and algorithm your way through business processes the better.  AI, it seems to me, is the answer to many of his dreams.