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Prime Video outlines five key research areas during UT Austin-Amazon Science Hub launch

BA Winston, VP of Technology at Prime Video, highlights five research areas during official launch of UT Austin-Amazon Science Hub.

On April 11, 2023, Amazon and the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) announced the launch of the UT Austin-Amazon Science Hub. On April 12, BA Winston, VP of Technology at Prime Video, outlined five key research areas for Prime Video during the event celebrating the UT Austin-Amazon Science Hub launch:

“Prime Video is working on several research areas to further improve our customer experience, and I would like to highlight the following five areas.

Video Understanding and Augmentation covers an array of exciting work we’re doing to make advancements in machine learning to help our systems better understand and augment video content. It lets us do everything from adding a bowl of candy to a film scene post-production to dynamically adjusting the volume of dialogue versus background noise to help customers who are hard of hearing. It’s really impressive the complex level of understanding we’re working to cultivate.

Video Picture Quality, Compression, and Delivery is our second key research area. If you’ve noticed that video streaming looks a lot better now than it did five or even a couple of years ago, don’t give all the credit to your internet provider! Our researchers find not only better algorithms for compressing data feeds, but also methods for detecting which minor video defects will be most visible so that we can fine-tune streams to make sure the video you’re watching on Prime Video is the very best possible, whatever your connection quality.

Search and Recommendation as an area covers not only what you’d expect – making sure your search results are clear and helpful, so you get to the movie you want to watch faster – but also fine-tuning our recommendation system to help you find content you might not have known to search for.

Our work to train systems in Game Understanding is an exciting research area, especially with the high-level investment Prime Video has been making in offering live sports to customers, such as the availability of NFL Thursday Night Football (TNF) on Prime Video where we just finished the first year of our 11-year commitment. I think here in Texas you might know something about football! Sports fans love data-driven analysis almost as much as we do, and we’re working to extract and present as much of that data as we can in exciting new ways, training our systems to recognize individual plays, players, and more.

Forecasting, Automation and Metrics is our final major research area, and it’s an essential one for a group operating at the scale of Prime Video. We need the ability to predict when and how our systems will be stressed, and we need to be able to scale to continually build the quality of our presentation as well as detect and mitigate defects in real time for all our customers. Forecasting, Automation and Metrics provides us the research-driven tools to make those choices and investments efficiently and accurately.

Prime Video will be opening a Call for Proposals this Fall at UT Austin as a part of this Hub to hear and fund more of your wonderful ideas for new avenues of inquiry.”

VP, Technology – Prime Video