Amazon deploys AI-based tech to maintain social distancing at its facilities

by Reuters
Tuesday, 16 June 2020 11:13 GMT

An employee prepares an order for Amazon at Porona warehouse in Bruay-sur-l'Escaut near Valenciennes, France, April 22, 2020. Picture taken, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

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The video-based 'Distance Assistant' system highlights employees who are standing too close to each other

June 16 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday it has launched a new system using artificial intelligence to enforce social distancing at its offices and warehouses, in its latest move to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission among its workers.

The e-commerce giant has faced labor risks after workers at dozens of its locations were infected with COVID-19, igniting small protests and prompting labor organizers to demand site closures.

The system, called Distance Assistant, uses camera footage in Amazon's buildings to help identify high-traffic areas and relay live video with visual overlays to show if individuals are within six feet of one another, the company said.

Green circles on monitors will highlight people keeping a safe distance, while red circles will appear around workers who are closer, it said.

Amazon earlier implemented mask-wearing and temperature checks at all its U.S. and European warehouses.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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