Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thinks that we’re at the “beginning of a golden era” when it comes to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
“It’s hard to overstate how much of an impact it’s going to have over the next 20 years,” he said on stage at Vox’s Media’s Code Conference on Tuesday night.
But it’s still really early.
Not only is it the first inning, “it might even be the first guy up at bat,” he laughed.
Amazon currently sells a voice-controlled smart speaker called Echo that’s powered by its artificial intelligence assistant, Alexa.
Right now, Alexa can help users do things like order groceries, play music, or make to-do lists. Amazon makes Alexa’s operating systems open to developers and Bezos says that the company is just beginning to understand the potential of the device. Amazon has been working on AI for the last four years and “absolutely” expects it to continue to be an increasing part of its business.
Almost every other big tech company is throwing resources behind AI and this idea of conversation as a platform through machine learning and AI too, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft as well as a slew of startups. Google recently announced its own smart speaker, Home, and Apple is even reportedly building an Amazon Echo competitor.
Bezos says that new and better algorithms, greater compute power, and massive amounts of data for training sets for algorithms are helping drive the rapid developements in AI.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.