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Expanding Facebook AI Research to Montreal

By Yann LeCun, Chief AI Scientist 

At Facebook, we think artificial intelligence can play a big role in helping bring the world closer together. With that in mind, we’ve been investing in AI research and engineering for many years — and today we’re excited to announce an expansion of those efforts with the opening of a new AI research lab in Montreal.

As part of Facebook AI Research (FAIR), this new team will join more than 100 scientists across Menlo Park, New York, and Paris in working to advance the field of artificial intelligence. The Montreal lab will house research scientists and engineers working on a wide range of ambitious AI research projects, but it will also have a special focus on reinforcement learning and dialog systems.

We are excited the new lab will be led by renowned Professor Joelle Pineau, who co-directs the Reasoning and Learning Lab at McGill University. Dr. Pineau’s previous research has focused on developing new algorithms for planning and learning and then applying them to complex problems in robotics, health care, games, and conversational agents. Dr. Pineau will maintain her academic position at McGill University, in addition to building the FAIR Montreal team. We think the talent we can attract will bring valuable expertise and new perspectives to our work, and under Dr. Pineau’s leadership, we will continue to invest in this team and in the Canadian research community as a whole.

As we’ve done at other FAIR sites, FAIR Montreal will engage with the broader research community through publications, open source software, participation in technical conferences and workshops, and research collaborations. We are also launching new partnerships with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), McGill University, and Université de Montréal.

Montreal already has an existing fantastic academic AI community, an exciting ecosystem of startups, and promising government policies to encourage AI research. We are excited to become part of this larger community, and we look forward to engaging with the entire ecosystem and helping it continue to thrive.