Amazon Poaches EBay’s AI Head

Shutterstock photo Amazon.com Inc. recently poached an artificial-intelligence expert from rival eBay Inc., the latest move by the retail giant to strengthen its ability to quickly determine what users want. Hassan Sawaf joined Amazon as its director of artificial intelligence in Palo Alto, Calif., at its A9 labs, according to his LinkedIn page, with the goal of improving “the user experience for users of Amazon’s search capability across all products and businesses.” An eBay spokeswoman confirmed Mr. Sawaf left the company. Amazon and Mr. Sawaf didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Amazon has increasingly focused resources on its voice-controlled devices that use artificial intelligence to dim bedroom lights, summon Uber rides, play song lists and order merchandise. Alexa, its robotic voice assistant, powers its Echo speakers, some of the…


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