Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) announced that they had hired an artificial intelligence academic named Joelle Pineau to be head of the new research lab located in Montreal. Pineau’s work focuses on developing and applying models and algorithms by applying robotics to healthcare, language processing, and transportation. This lab will be the fourth launched after sites located in New York, Paris, and Palo Alto and will grow to about 30 researchers. Facebook will invest $7 million in AI research at academic institutions in Montreal.
This Facebook project will be connected to the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms and McGill University’s Centre for Intelligent Machines with combined researchers of more than 200 which include students working on AI research projects. This tops Google’s 150 members from last year. Already, the province of Quebec has around 90 start up companies that focuses on artificial intelligence. $125 million is put towards building AI expertise by the Canadian federal government to be located in Montreal, Edmonton, and the Toronto Waterloo corridor. The Quebec government has also pledged $82 million specifically for AI research.