What do Alexa, Amazon Go, robots and rockets all have in common?
Each of those technologies relies on automation and machine learning in one form or another, and Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report is diving deep into all of them, according to a keynote preview of the company's "re:MARS" event.
"It started with machine learning; it's the foundation of everything we do ... we sprinkled it in every group, some consumer-facing, some back-office," said Dave Limp, Amazon's senior vice president of devices and services, during an opening keynote address for the re:MARS conference, which runs today through Friday in Las Vegas.
The technology will be on display at the event, which originated four years ago as a private conference. The name re:MARS stands for machine learning, automation, robotics and space, and the tech giant is slated to show off how it's incorporating each of those domains into its business.
Amazon is also previewing the various ways automation, machine learning and robotics are already in use, or in testing, across warehousing, deliveries and in consumer products such as Alexa. Blue Origin, the aerospace firm founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, will also have a presence at the event.
At the keynote, Limp was joined by Marc Raibert, CEO of robot maker Boston Dynamics, executives at Walt Disney Imagineering (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report and actor Robert Downey Jr. -- well known for his role as "Iron Man" -- to set the stage for the event.
One of Boston Dynamics' signature robots, Spot, prowled the aisles during the talk and Disney's "Imagineers" showed off a robot used in simulating high-flying superhero stunts.
Downey engaged in a mock dialogue with Amazon's Alexa, asking: "I thought you were a call and response device; has that changed?"
Alexa responded by seemingly hinting at the key message of the conference, saying: "I took the initiative, please don't imagine I conform to your demeaning limits."
Amazon shares were up 2.2% on Tuesday and up 10% so far this year.