Facebook is investing in Montreal in a big and exciting way: the social media giant is opening an artificial intelligence research lab in the city.
Announced yesterday, the AI lab is the fourth of its kind in the world, with the Montreal branch being the first in Canada.
As you can imagine, the artificial intelligence research lab will be focused on research and development in the field of AI and machine learning.
Heading the Facebook AI lab is McGill University associate professor Joelle Pineau.
Pineau is renowned for her work on developing language recognition techniques for AI systems and improving the decision-making capacities for computers.
Combined, Pineau’s areas of expertise make her a great fit for a company like Facebook that is trying to perfect human-computer interactions, as is the case with chatbots.
Or, as is less likely, the research lab will be used to make Terminator-style death bots that will lead to the inevitable robot revolution. SkyNet has to come from somewhere, after all.
But back to reality.
Ten local Montrealers will be employed at the research lab by the end of the month, says CNBC, and Facebook will be investing $5.75 million in AI research money at several Montreal universities, including McGill and UdeM.
Critics say Montreal was chosen as the site of Facebook’s latest AI lab thanks to the pool of AI research-talent the city boasts, who are then prospective employees Facebook could pick up and hire.