Amazon seeks the help of AI to enforce social distancing in warehouse

Amazon is making social distancing mandate by deploying AI tools to help employees stay ‘6-feet apart.’

The company’s ‘Distance Assistant’ program will equip a TV screen, depth sensors, and AI-enabled cameras to analyze employee’s movements and provide them with feedback in real-time. When the workers come a little close to each other, the circles around their feet will flash on the TV, directing the employees to keep a safe distance.

Amazon plans to roll out hundreds of these devices in the coming weeks. Brad Porter, Amazon's Vice President of Robotics explained in an announcement that the assistants have been tested at various buildings with success. The tech giant will also keep the technology open-sourced, allowing other companies to replicate the same and deploy similar gadgets on their premises.

Besides Amazon, several other firms are also using technological advancements to enhance social distancing. Some startups have also created Bluetooth-equipped bracelets and pendants to signal the workers when they break social distancing guidelines.

In the COVID-19 era, these measures have become an absolute necessity. However, critics worry that the introduction of such devices may also give employers access to detailed data of worker’s movements.



Featured photo and video courtesy of Amazon.

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