Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Facebook Launches Artificial Intelligence Research Lab in Montreal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Facebook Launches Artificial Intelligence Research Lab in Montreal

Article excerpt

Facebook launches Montreal AI lab

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MONTREAL - Facebook has become the latest technology company to dig into Montreal's burgeoning artificial intelligence sector, announcing the opening of a research lab in the city Friday.

The lab, known as FAIR Montreal, is headed by Joelle Pineau, a professor in McGill University's computer science department and co-director of Reasoning and Learning Lab.

The social media giant follows Google and Microsoft in establishing AI roots in Montreal.

The lab is open and ready for business, with the first researchers already setting up shop in a new building.

Pineau finished her degree in the United States and came back to Montreal against the advice of some of her American colleagues, who felt it would hinder her ability to do world-class research.

She said she's proven them wrong and added she hopes the new lab will give talented researchers in the field another option to stay put.

"For many years, I've seen a steady stream of talented AI researchers ... leaving my lab but also leaving our country," Pineau told dignitaries, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"I hope that some of the students who are here today will find an opportunity that matches their interest and their talent."

The Montreal lab will employ 10 researchers to begin, with the aim of tripling that number in the coming year.

That would put it on par with three other Facebook hubs currently based in New York City, Paris and Menlo Park, Calif. …

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