Amazon.com’s chief executive Jeff Bezos said he will pore over all the data when choosing Amazon’s second headquarter, but then it comes down to “going with your heart.”
CNN — citing comments Bezos made during an interview by Walter Isaacson, the journalist and historian, at an event hosted by First, a global nonprofit that has a mission to get the younger generations interested in science via robotics — reported Amazon has received 238 proposals. The headquarters is expected to result in 50,000 new jobs and cost $5 billion to develop, noted the report.
“Ultimately the decision will be made with intuition after gathering and studying a lot of data — for a decision like that, as far as I know, the best way to make it is you collect as much data as you can, you immerse yourself in that data, but then you make the decision with your heart,” Bezos told Isaacson, according to the report. The executive noted during the 45-minute long interview that he keeps his Jeff@Amazon email address because he believes anecdotes can help improve upon the data the eCommerce giant is amassing. Still, he said sometimes you have to go with your gut when making decisions, rather than the data. Bezos pointed to Prime as an example. “Every spreadsheet showed it was going to be a disaster,” he said.
As for Alexa, its popular voice-activated digital assistant, Bezos said there are 10,000 to 12,000 employees who work on Alexa and Echo at Amazon, noting the difficulty in making a successful voice-activated assistant. “It is technically one of the hardest things — not that just that we’ve ever done — that’s ever been done. It is … ASR — automatic speech recognition, that’s super hard. Natural language understanding, that’s super hard. Every time you curse at Alexa, she gets better — so don’t stop,” he said, adding, “there’s nothing easy about Alexa.” He stressed Alexa isn’t listening when not being talked to.