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Job-stealing robots? Not just yet, says Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, speaks onstage during 'The Prime of Mr. Jeff Bezos' at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.
Michael Kovac | Getty Images
Jeff Bezos, speaks onstage during 'The Prime of Mr. Jeff Bezos' at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.

When it comes Amazon's grocery stores, Jeff Bezos wants the New York Post to keep its shopping cart in its own lane.

The Amazon founder took to Twitter to refute the Post's claims on Sunday that the company is developing highly-automated grocery stores that will be staffed primarily by robots and function with as few as three human workers each.

"Sources said the plans call for staff to max out at 10 workers per location during any given shift," the paper writes. "'Amazon will utilize technology to minimize labor,' a source close to the situation told The Post."

Bezos didn't share any specifics as to what about the story is inaccurate.

Amazon has been experimenting with brick-and-mortar operations even as it continues to fine-tune more futuristic efforts like drone delivery and robot-powered warehouses, and the company has played up just how little customers of Amazon Go would have to interact with anyone or anything other than their smartphone.

A video released in December introduced the store concept by saying it would boast "no lines, no checkouts, no registers," using systems similar to the ones that power self-driving vehicles.

Jeff Bezos, speaks onstage during 'The Prime of Mr. Jeff Bezos' at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.
Michael Kovac | Getty Images
Jeff Bezos, speaks onstage during 'The Prime of Mr. Jeff Bezos' at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.

As the video's shoppers move through the meticulously-organized store, a narrator asks, "What if we could weave the most advanced machine learning, computer vision and AI into the fabric of a store so you never have to wait in line?"

Though the store in the video appears largely unmanned, the careful viewer will notice a few background players in orange Amazon t-shirts, stocking shelves and moving around.

Though the company he founded certainly grabs its fair share of headlines, it's rare for Bezos to respond to them directly.

Of late he's favored Twitter as an outlet for his musings on the stratosphere, tweeting his support for the concept of a superhighway in space, expressing gratitude to John Glenn and thanking Buzz Aldrin for visiting the headquarters of Blue Origin, his space-focused startup.

As for The Post's claims of gargantuan profit margins for stores that don't need to pay human employees, Bezos indicated with a wink that he'd be interested in learning more.