Facebook launches AI research laboratory

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Facebook has announced that it is expanding into research with a laboratory specifically targeted at artificial intelligence.

(Credit: Facebook; Human Brain Symbol image by Pendethan, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The new laboratory will be headed up by New York computer and data sciences professor Yann LeCun, who announced the new laboratory today on Facebook and Google+. Mark Zuckerberg is expected to make a more formal announcement at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference.

The laboratory, LeCun said, will have "the ambitious, long-term goal of bringing about major advances in Artificial Intelligence". In addition, Facebook will partner with NYU's Center for Data Science to research data science, machine learning and AI. The Facebook AI group will have offices in Menlo Park, California, where Facebook has its global headquarters; London; and Facebook's new facility in New York City.

We're not sure exactly what Facebook plans to do with its AI technology, although we assume it will in some way be integrated with the social-networking website. The move, however, does pit the company up against Google, which earlier this year hired computer scientist and psychologist Geoffrey Hinton in its own bid to develop AI; as well as Microsoft, which is building its own Siri competitor; Apple; and others.

LeCun will remain working at NYU part-time.

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