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Amazon Rolls out Machine Learning Services to Monitor Workers and Machines

At AWS re:Invent, Amazon’s cloud arm AWS announced five new machine learning services, helping industrial and manufacturing customers embed intelligence in their production processes. The new machine learning-based services include hardware to monitor the health of heavy machinery, and computer vision capable of detecting whether workers are complying with social distancing. For example, Monitron, a two-inch low-cost sensor, can be attached to equipment to monitor abnormal vibrations or temperatures and predict future faults. AWS Panorama is a service that uses computer vision to analyse footage gathered by cameras within facilities, automatically detecting safety and compliance issues such as workers not wearing PPE or vehicles being driven in unauthorised areas. This would help Amazon cement its position as a dominant player in cloud computing, in the face of growing competition from Microsoft and Google. However, this is a double-edged sword. The technology can be used to ensure worker safety, while the same technology raises serious concerns if being abused.