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Amazon bolsters AI credentials with addition of Andrew Ng to board on Thursday added Andrew Ng, the computer scientist who led artificial intelligence projects at Alphabet’s Google and China’s Baidu, to its board amid rising competition among Big Techs to add users for their GenAI products.

Amazon’s cloud unit is facing pressure from Microsoft’s early pact with ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and integration of its technology into Azure, while Alexa voice assistant is in race with genAI chat tools from OpenAI and Google.

The appointment, effective April 9, also follows job cuts across Amazon, which has seen enterprise cloud spending and e-commerce sales moderate due to macroeconomic factors such as inflation and high interest rates.

“As we look toward 2024 (and beyond), we’re not done lowering our cost to serve,” CEO Andy Jassy said in a letter to shareholders on Thursday.

He said Amazon could reduce costs in some areas of its fulfillment network even as customer cloud spends were improving and its advertising business remained strong.

Amazon has over the last few months laid off hundreds of staff in divisions including Amazon Web Services, Prime Video service, healthcare business and the Alexa unit, extending its massive job cuts over the past two years into 2024.

Andrew is also adjunct professor at Stanford University and runs AI venture studio and learning firms. Reuters

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