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Amazon's Bezos: We're near a "golden age" in AI

CNBC logo CNBC 6/1/2016 Ari Levy

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos says we're at the earliest days of artificial intelligence and the influence it will have on consumers' lives.

"It's hard to overstate how big of an impact it's going to have on society over the next 20 years," Bezos said on stage Tuesday night at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Bezos said the Seattle-based company has 1,000 people dedicated to its Alexa voice-powered platform and spent four years working on it behind the scenes before bringing it to market.

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Amazon's (AMZN) Echo, the consumer device that lets customers ask questions, play music and order groceries, has been flying off the virtual shelves since it went on sale last year.

Beyond its own device, Amazon lets outside developers embed Alexa into other products. Bezos said the company's constant building of algorithms, vast computing power and decades of training data from its recommendation engine makes Alexa possible.

And it's only going to get smarter.

"Those three things are coming together to solve some previously unsolvable problems," he said. "They're going to drive a tremendous amount of utility for customers."

CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.

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