Patent for "caging workers" at Amazon under fire

(CBS News) -- Amazon has recently come under fire for a new proposal that would put its workers in cages.

A 2016 patent has recently come under fire in a recent article by two AI researchers. The purpose of the patent was introduced as a means of employee safety, rather than confinement, according to Amazon. The caged, mobile work space was designed to keep people safe as they entered the floor, where robots maneuvered and pushed towering shelves of goods ordered by Amazon customers.

The plan, however, has not been implemented.

"Sometimes even bad ideas get submitted for patents," wrote Dave Clark, senior vice president of operations at Amazon. "This was never used and we have no plans for usage."

An Amazon spokeswoman added that speculation around the patent was "misguided," stating, "Like many companies, we file a number of forward-looking patent applications."