Kara Swisher on Andy Jassy

Kara Swisher, in her column at The New York Times:

That same steel will was certainly on display in a long interview I did with Mr. Jassy in mid-2019 about AWS. I have always preferred to talk to him more than almost any other Amazon executive, because he does not shirk from a debate or retreat to stale talking points. He also was not going to give an inch when it came to tougher topics like potential bias in facial recognition.

On that hot-button issue, Mr. Jassy said clearly that it was not up to Amazon to be the moral arbiter of the world, but that he would like government to step in. “People are looking for those extra sets of protections around the federal government explaining how they want the (facial-recognition) technology to be used and [to have] real ramifications if you misuse it,” he said. “And I wish they would hurry up, because if they don’t … you’re going to have 50 different laws in 50 different states.”

When I asked him about having to spin off AWS in the wake of a potential antitrust investigation — a prospect that would scare many — he shrugged. “If we were forced to do it, I guess we would have to do it,” he said. “We don’t spend a lot of time talking about it.”

Wednesday, 3 February 2021