Facebook forms new AI Group to study artificial intelligence

Facebook has formed a new artificial intelligence group and hired Yann LeCun, director of the Center for Data Science at New York University, to run it, according to a post on LeCun’s Facebook page that was later shared by Facebook Academics.

“Facebook has created a new research laboratory with the ambitious, long-term goal of bringing about major advances in Artificial Intelligence,” LeCun wrote. “I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted the position of director of this new lab.”

Facebook’s interest in artificial intelligence isn’t surprising, nor is it unique. We recently featured an update on a Carnegie Mellon University project to teach computers the natural relationships between objects — sponsored by Google. Additionally, the “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning” page at Google Research currently features close to 350 papers.

LeCun says the new group will have locations in Menlo Park, Calif., and London as well as Facebook’s new facility in New York City. He also notes that Facebook and the Center for Data Science at NYU will simultaneously partner on research in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

A more official announcement is expected later today when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presents at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference in Lake Tahoe.