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Friday, September 15, 2017
Facebook Opens AI Research in Montreal

Facebook has hired artificial intelligence academic Joelle Pineau to head a new research lab in Montreal, the Silicon Valley social media company said on Friday.

As part of Facebook AI Research (FAIR), a new team will join more than 100 scientists across Menlo Park, New York, and Paris in working to advance the field of artificial intelligence. Facebook says that the Montreal lab will house research scientists and engineers working on a wide range of AI research projects, but it will also have a special focus on reinforcement learning and dialog systems.

Facebook already uses AI for image recognition, language analysis and targeted advertising. It also uses AI to identify and remove what the company deems "inappropriate content."

The new lab will be led by renowned Professor Joelle Pineau, who co-directs the Reasoning and Learning Lab at McGill University. Dr. Pineau's previous research has focused on developing new algorithms for planning and learning and then applying them to complex problems in robotics, health care, games, and conversational agents. Dr. Pineau will maintain her academic position at McGill University, in addition to building the FAIR Montreal team.

FAIR Montreal will engage with the broader research community through publications, open source software, participation in technical conferences and workshops, and research collaborations. Facebook is also launching new partnerships with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), McGill University, and Universite de Montreal.

The lab will be Facebook's fourth, after sites in Palo Alto, New York, and Paris, and joins similar AI research efforts in the city from Microsoft and Alphabet's Google.

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