Amazon pumps up Boston HQ2 hopes
Amazon’s move to expand its Boston Technology Hub and create 2,000 tech jobs has added to speculation that the city will be the location of the company’s new HQ2 second headquarters. The new positions will be in areas such as machine learning, speech science, cloud computing and robotics engineering.
Amazon’s Boston metro area teams do a lot of work on Alexa, with local machine learning expertise focused enhancing customer experience with the platform. This is “leading the industry in its shift toward conversational artificial intelligence,” the company says.
Boston says it won’t throw money at Amazon in its attempt to land the new headquarters, but that it will focus on improving the city for Amazonians and Bostonians alike. The city’s initial pitch to the online retail giant included upgrades to public transportation and the road system.
"You can't give away $5 billion. You just can't,” Boston mayor Marty Walsh said in a radio interview last month.
Amazon recently published a shortlist of 20 cities that it was willing to consider as possible locations in its corporate beauty contest, with Boston one of the contenders. The company created the list from some 240 proposals from cities across North America to host HQ2.
However, some citizens groups are pushing back against their authorities welcoming Amazon to their cities. The AtlantaAgainstAmazon initiative believes the best-paid, highly skilled jobs will not go to Atlantans but to people jetted in from elsewhere in the US. Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin-based grassroots outfit Generation Opportunity has come out against offering Amazon any municipal handouts.