In his annual letter to shareholders, Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos has been known to pen insightful reflections on where the tech giant might be going next, giving a rare peek into what the company's top brass is thinking about as the Amazon empire continues to expand.
Bezos' latest memo, made public on Wednesday morning, lays out some of the core principles that fuel his "Day One" philosophy -- that despite Amazon's 23-year history, its journey has just begun. Becoming a "Day Two" company, meanwhile, is synonymous with an "excruciating, painful decline, followed by death." The key to remaining a Day One company, Bezos wrote, lies in being nimble, forward-thinking and not letting the process of running a company "own us."
Another big part of being a Day One company, according to Bezos, embracing the latest trends, rather than opting to wait and see, only to be left behind. At the top of Bezos' list is artificial intelligence, a trend that Bezos notes has fueled the growth of several major services at Amazon, including autonomous Prime Air delivery drones, the Amazon Go convenience store and Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
"But much of what we do with machine learning happens beneath the surface," Bezos explained. "Machine learning drives our algorithms for demand forecasting, product search ranking, product and deals recommendations, merchandising replacements, fraud detection, translations and much more."
Amazon's deep learning algorithms are being used to simplify a wide-ranging set of complex issues, like early disease detection and increasing crop yields, as well as natural language understanding and speech analysis, Bezos noted.
"Watch this space. Much more to come," he added.
It makes sense that Bezos is declaring artificial intelligence and machine learning as two of the most exciting and potentially profit-boosting technologies being developed today. The artificial intelligence market, often lumped in with machine learning, is estimated to be worth as much as $47 billion in 2020, up from about $8 billion in 2016, according to IDC.
Several of Silicon Valley's biggest players have big expectations for what the artificial intelligence market's value may be in the coming years. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, said on the company's most recent earnings call that advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, such as natural language processing, voice recognition and computer vision, will pioneer the next wave of innovation in consumer internet, according to Barclays.
Andrew Ng, the former chief scientist at Baidu (BIDU) , likened AI to the advent of electricity.