Amazon Using Artificial Intelligence to Maintain Social Distancing at Facilities

(Reuters) -
The Amazon fulfillment center in Romulus, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Amazon.com Inc. said on Tuesday it has launched a new system using artificial intelligence to enforce social distancing at its offices and warehouses, in its latest move to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission among its workers.

The e-commerce giant has faced labor risks after workers at dozens of its locations were infected with COVID-19, igniting small protests and prompting labor organizers to demand site closures.

The system, called Distance Assistant, uses camera footage in Amazon’s buildings to help identify high-traffic areas and relay live video with visual overlays to show if individuals are within six feet of one another, the company said.

Green circles on monitors will highlight people keeping a safe distance, while red circles will appear around workers who are closer, it said.

Amazon earlier implemented mask-wearing and temperature checks at all its U.S. and European warehouses.