Amazon will open a new research and development centre in Barcelona, where over 100 scientists and software engineers will work. According to the company, the installations will be dedicated to machine learning, a discipline which comes within the framework of artificial intelligence (AI). The centre will offer support for SMEs in southern Europe and will start to be operational during the first half of 2018.
The company has already begun the selection process for workers in this new R&D centre. Amazon sources explain that, apart from being engineers, a very specialised profile is needed in the people they hire. The company is particularly interested in scientists and software developers who work in the machine learning field. This area of AI focuses on the identification of rules and patterns based on huge data bases in order to make “very precise” predictions.
This team will not investigate products, but more general scientific matters which can be applied to specific products in the future, the company sources said. These areas of investigation include: voice recognition to activate aparti or seek information; automatic translation; predicting clients’ behaviour at a local level or making predictions about demand.
Deputy chairman and managing director of Amazon for Spain and Italy, François Nuyts, said in a statement that the choice of Barcelona for the new centre responds to “the wide range of universities” in the city and its “quality of life.”
“Just a little over a year ago, we opened our Tech Hub in Madrid. There we work on improving the purchasing experience of our clients throughout Europe, both via the web and the mobile,” Nuyts added. He said the new centre is part of Amazon’s “ongoing investment plan” in Spain.