For any tech company, artificial intelligence is the future. Most major tech companies already know this and are embracing it in its products. Now, Facebook is looking to expand its own AI division, and it will be opening up an AI office in Montreal. There is already a ton of talent in artificial intelligence in Montreal, so it makes perfect sense for Facebook to be opening up a new office in the Canadian city.
According to Facebook, Joelle Pineau, who is the co-director of McGill University's Reasoning and Learning Lab and the incoming president of the International Machine Learning Society will be leading the new lab. It's also being reported that Pineau will keep her position at McGill University. Pascal Vincent, an associate professor at the University of Montreal will also be joining Pineau at the new lab in Montreal. According to Facebook's chief AI scientist, Yann LeCun, this office in Montreal will have a "special focus on reinforcement learning and dialog systems", LeCun stated this in a statement emailed to VentureBeat. Additionally, LeCun stated that Facebook is going to be partnering with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, MILA, McGill University, and Universite de Montreal with this new AI lab in the city. "Montreal already has an existing fantastic academic AI community, an exciting ecosystem of startups, and promising government policies to encourage AI research," LeCun wrote.
Montreal is an interesting place for artificial intelligence right now. It is home to many researchers that are working in the artificial intelligence field, which is what attracted Facebook to the city in the first place. Right now, AI talent is hard to come by, and that is likely due to the fact that AI is still a fairly new field. But it's a field that is really starting to blow up. With many tech giants investing heavily in AI, including Alphabet, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and many others. These companies are using AI to make their personal assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant easier to use, and also improving their existing products. So it wouldn't be surprising to see more Silicon Valley companies opening offices in Montreal.