Amazon opens new office in Ottawa but still no word on Canadian Echo launch

Amazon’s machine learning dreams may just be realized in its brand new Ottawa-based office.

This past August, Amazon opened up an office in Canada’s capital that was rumoured to have a huge hiring budget. Reports indicate that Amazon’s Ottawa employees will be working on Alexa, the AI assistant that powers Amazon’s voice-activated Bluetooth speaker, Echo.

The Ottawa Business Journal reports that software developer Francois Boisvert will be heading up the local team. He reveals that he’ll be hiring several individuals in the fields of mobile development and mobile developers “voice-over-IP and real-time communication.” Furthermore, he says that he’ll be hiring in spades.

Amazon opened its Toronto office in the summer of 2015. What started as a division run by a handful of people grew into an operation that employed hundreds.

Reasons for the Canadian expansion haven’t been revealed, though Boisvert hinted to OBJ that there’s less competition for talent in Canada than there is in American cities.

Despite Amazon expanding its development team in Canada, Boisvert couldn’t confirm that Amazon’s Echo would be available in Canada as well. While bringing the Echo to Canada is reportedly “in the works,” no timelines have been announced yet.

Currently, Amazon operates three offices out of Canada – in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

Related: Amazon job postings hint that Canadian echo launch might be coming

[source]Ottawa Business Journal[/source]