Google has been one of the biggest names in AI for a very long time, and most of their expertise happens to be focused on a single venture that provides benefits over their entire range of AI products. Called "Google Brain", it's almost exactly what it sounds like; an absolutely massive data center, staffed only by the best AI technicians that Google can find, full of networked computers whose sole focus is artificial intelligence. Google's special brain team has near-full autonomy, and near-exclusive access to the privilege of being in the physical presence of the Google Brain structure. Now, it seems that Google is organizing an arm of that team in the AI talent hotbed that is Montreal, and is also throwing the local Institute for Learning Algorithms some cash.
Programming for AI is completely different from almost any other type of programming and coding; it's based on algorithms and theoretical logic. It requires a very special approach, one which Google is all too willing to teach to the right people, who they call "machine learning ninja." As it turns out, the Institute for Learning Algorithms one of the best places in the world for grooming computer science students to become the elite shadow warriors of the machine learning world, meaning that Google's gift to them of about roughly $3.4 million will likely end up paying serious dividends for them in the future. The gift from Google is set to help keep seven of the Institute's top teachers on the job for at least the next three years.
As for Google's expansion of their Google Brain team into the Montreal area, the magic will be happening within Google's existing facilities in the form of a brand new AI lab led by prodigal Montreal resident Hugo Larochelle, who will be coming back from Boston, where he loaned his expertise to Twitter. With their investment, Google is hoping to help attract top talent by continuing Montreal's transformation into an AI and machine learning hotspot. The Institute for Learning Algorithms is evidence of this, as is the extensive computer science curriculum of the University of Toronto, taught by Geoffrey Hinton, who also helps Google with projects in AI from time to time. If things so far are any indication, Google's efforts will not only turn Montreal into one of the world's foremost AI capitals in due time, but will help them to net the kind of talent that will allow them to lead the charge with AI well into the future.