Montréal-based artificial intelligence (AI) research institute Mila is teaming up with Twitter to enhance the social media platform’s use of machine learning (ML).
With a primary focus on supporting Twitter’s Cortex data and machine learning group, the three-year collaboration will include year-round open research engagements between both organizations to accelerate ML research across academia and industries. It will also provide Twitter researchers with “elevated” access to Mila facilities and other internal resources.
A spokesperson for Twitter told BetaKit that there is a financial component to the deal, which will go towards various supporting research projects, events, internships, and other Mila activities. The spokesperson did not disclose the amount to BetaKit.
Yoshua Bengio said the partnership supports Mila’s mission in the development of AI for the benefit of all.
Created in 1993 by Université de Montréal professor and AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio, Mila is the result of a partnership between the Université de Montréal, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal, and HEC Montréal. The research institute has a community of more than 900 researchers covering fields such as generative models, natural language processing, and computer vision.
According to Twitter, partnerships with institutions like Mila is part of the social media company’s commitment to provide its users with the best possible experience while using the social media site.
Twitter’s Cortex team, made up of ML practitioners, engineers, and researchers, provides an ML platform, signals, models, and research to the company’s product teams. As of last year, an average of 500 million tweets were sent out per day and the Cortex group is responsible for pushing relevant and timely content to Twitter’s users.
Bengio said the partnership supports Mila’s mission in the development of AI for the benefit of all. “It is only natural for us to accompany Twitter and their machine learning team Cortex in developing responsible machine learning systems that can have a meaningful impact on hundreds of millions of Tweets every day,” he said.
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The partnership comes five years after Mila started working with another social media platform. In 2017, Meta (formerly Facebook) opened an AI research lab in Montréal and invested $7 million into the Montréal AI ecosystem, which included $1.5 million in Mila. Joelle Pineau, one of Mila’s core academic members, is the director of the lab.
Meta also subsequently renewed its commitments to Mila this year with a $200,000 investment.
Working with other organizations to scale AI research and development, Mila recently teamed up with AI Sweden in February, just a month after it announced it was entering a partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Correction: This story previously incorrectly stated that Facebook invested $7 million in Mila. The story has been updated to reflect the true amount.