Corporate Giving in Pursuit of a Competitive Edge: The Case of Amazon and AI

Credit: Amazon.comThe charitable tax deduction was created by Congress a century ago to spur more giving to advance the greater good. But corporations have long been savvy at using their philanthropy to improve the bottom line. Such self-interested giving has historically aimed to bolster brand identity and curry goodwill through charitable activities. Over time, though, companies have gotten more sophisticated at using tax-deductible giving to pursue other goals, too, including underwriting research aimed at improving their future competitiveness.  We’ve written a bit lately at Uber’s big giving for research to advance self-driving cars. Here, we look at what Amazon is up to. As the race on artificial intelligence heats up, Amazon is turning to college students with a prize that will tackle a major obstacle—understanding language. The results stand to…


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