When Amazon introduced the outside world to its latest new recruit, the reaction was not entirely what it had hoped for. The new figure stacking boxes on shelves in its vast warehouse in Seattle was a robot, one, moreover, that resembled a human and was doing a job that until now a human being would do.
Yet the robot, 175cm tall, able to carry up to 16kg and named “Digit”, is not alone. Amazon is intent on using automation to speed up its vast retail operation and this, in turn, has posed questions about the future of its human employees and the advance of artificial intelligence more generally.
This week, for example, the group unveiled another robotics system: Sequoia enables Amazon to identify and store