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Amazon’s re:MARS 2020 cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak

Amazon has canceled re:MARS 2020, an annual AI occasion that focuses on machine studying, automation, robotics and house, over issues in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. The occasion was scheduled to be held June 16 to 19, 2020 in Las Vegas.

Organizers of the occasion mentioned in an announcement on its web site that the occasion will probably be cancelled and company who bought tickets will obtain a full refund. Right here’s the assertion:

Thank you for your interest in re:MARS 2020. Our top priority is the well-being of our employees, customers, partners, and event attendees. We have been closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and after much consideration, we have made the decision to cancel re:MARS 2020. All guests who have purchased tickets will receive a full refund of registration fees. Hotel rooms booked through our conference website will be canceled free of charge. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to engage the community.

Amazon launched re:MARS in 2019 and final yr featured founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Touchdown AI founder and CEO Andrew Ng, actor and producer Robert Downey, Jr., MIT Media Lab researcher Dr. Kate Darling and Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert, and Zoox CEO Aicha Evans, amongst others.

COVID-19, a illness attributable to a brand new virus that may be a member of the coronavirus household and an in depth cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses. COVID-19 has prompted governments and firms to cancel tech, enterprise and automotive occasions all over the world, together with the NCAA March Insanity basketball tournaments, skilled sports activities video games within the NBA  and NHL, the Geneva Worldwide Motor Present, MWC in Barcelona and the SXSW competition in Austin, Texas. Disneyland and California Journey will shut via the tip of the month. On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a nationwide emergency, a designation that permits the federal government to unlock extra federal sources that states can entry as they reply to outbreak.

Amazon issued steering Thursday in response to the COVID-19 outbreak recommending that international staff who’re in a position to earn a living from home to take action via the tip of March.

“We proceed to work intently with private and non-private medical consultants to make sure we’re taking the precise precautions because the state of affairs continues to evolve,” an Amazon spokesperson mentioned in an e-mail assertion. “Consequently, we at the moment are recommending that every one of our staff globally who’re in a position to earn a living from home achieve this via the tip of March.”

Earlier this week, Amazon mentioned it will present two weeks of additional paid break day for full and part-time staff who’re identified with COVID-19 or positioned into quarantine. The corporate mentioned it’s going to proceed to pay all hourly staff, together with meals service, janitorial and safety workers, who assist its places of work all over the world.

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