While the entire country waits with bated breath for news about which city is going to be the home of Amazon’s planned $5 billion HQ2, the city of Boston got some news that might help ease some of the sting if they ultimately lose out to one of the other 19 cities cited by the company as finalists. Amazon announced on Monday that it would be expanding its Boston tech hub and adding some 2,000 new jobs in the city.
The new employees will likely be working out of the 430,000-square-foot space that the company is expanding to in the WS Development Seaport project, a project with 7.6 million square feet on Boston’s waterfront.
Alexa Makes Boston’s Speech Recognition Tech Bonafides Stand Out
Many of the new jobs will primarily be focused on machine learning, cloud computing and robotics engineering, but it’s Boston’s position as a leader in the field of speech science that might have been the key to attracting the new offices with the rapid growth of popularity for Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa.
Boston is already home to an Apple lab where engineers work on the digital assistant Siri, one of Alexa’s primary rivals, and it’s the city where speech recognition software company Nuance Communications was founded.
Is Boston in the Lead for Amazon HQ2?
What isn’t clear is what Amazon’s new Boston expansion might mean for the city’s prospects for landing the massive HQ2 project. With $5 billion in investment and 50,000 new jobs coming with it, HQ2 could be a major boost to the local economy, and Boston’s selection for this expansion might indicate that they’re currently among the leaders to win the HQ2 project.
But concerns about increased congestion and rising property prices might mean that not all Boston residents are looking forward to the potential for Amazon to continue expanding in their city.
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