Facebook is opening an AI lab in Montreal

montreal

Facebook will be opening a lab in Montreal to tap into its AI talent, according to a report from Venturebeat.

Joelle Pineau, the co-director of McGill University’s Reasoning and Learning Lab and the incoming president of the International Machine Learning Society, will lead the lab. Pascale Vincent, an associate professor at the University of Montreal, will also join the lab.

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The Globe and Mail was the first to report that the two McGill professors would be joining the lab; this was also confirmed by Venturebeat.

“Montreal already has an existing fantastic academic AI community, an exciting ecosystem of startups, and promising government policies to encourage AI research,” Yann LeCunn, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, told the publication. “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.”

Facebook is joining several international giants turning to Canada to fill a gap in AI talent. Early this year, Microsoft acquired Montreal-based Maluuba and doubled its Montreal office. Its venture arm was also among investors in Element AI’s $137.5 million funding round.

A report from Reuters says that Facebook will also launch an election integrity initiative in Canada. Karina Gould, Canada’s minister of democratic institutions, is expected to speak at a launch event next week to share details about the project.

Facebook already has Canadian offices in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to jessica.galang@betakit.com.