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Facebook to Focus on AI by Starting New Research Labs

Facebook announced start of two new Artificial Intelligence (AI) research labs in Pittsburgh and Seattle on May 04, 2018

Facebook is focused on developing efficient AI technology for latest initiatives of the company such as such as photo and video sorting, which operate on machine learning. The social networking major is also experimenting with A.I. that can read text in order to help filter out hate speech and extremist organizations.

The labs will include professors from the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University. This has prompted some fears that Facebook is poaching the instructors needed to train the next generation of A.I. researchers. Experts in the field of A.I. and machine learning often command extremely high salaries, making it difficult for universities and other non-profit research centers to compete with expectations of Facebook and Google.

Facebook’s director of A.I. research, Yann LeCun, explained that company’s goals have been misinterpreted. Rather than poach qualified experts from universities, Facebook is trying to create an environment, which can benefit public and private sectors. “Professors gain a different type of experience in industry that can have a positive impact on their students and on their research,” LeCun said. “Additionally, their connection with industry helps produce new scientific advances that may be difficult to achieve in an academic environment, and helps turn those advances into practical technology. Universities are familiar with the concept of faculty with part-time appointments in industry. It is common in medicine, law, and business. ”

The company’s goal with its FAIR program is to build healthy partnership between Facebook and the universities, which will contribute to research labs. Furthermore, other companies such as Google, Apple, and Amazon are using AI to enhance various products and apps.