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Amazon Has Already Begun Automating Its White-Collar Jobs

Posted on Friday, 15th June 2018 @ 01:23 AM by Text Size A | A | A

 
Algorithms have usurped Amazon’s retail decision-makers.

The e-commerce company once relied on humans to predict demand of certain products, such as anticipating and ordering a glut of the season’s hottest toys ahead of the holiday season. But a report from Bloomberg June 13 shows that the decision-making process has slowly transitioned towards automated ordering and communication with manufacturers, leaving humans in the lurch.

This trend isn’t surprising at an automation-minded company like Amazon, but it’s indicative of a wider trend in analytics-based jobs: The algorithms are coming. Whether it’s insurance adjusting or product buying like Amazon’s workers, there could be software that does an increasingly better job for a lower cost than a human salary.

The transition within Amazon is credited to two forces. The company launched a pilot project called “hands off the wheel” that automated demand forecasting and negotiating prices with vendors, and the rise of the Amazon Marketplace, where vendors can bypass Amazon’s buyers and sell their wares directly on the site on their own.

Amazon’s “hands off the wheel” project started seve

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