Facebook opens a new AI research lab in Montreal

It joins existing labs in California, New York and France.

Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research team is expanding. The company announced a brand new AI lab that just opened in Montreal, which joins the network of existing labs based in Menlo Park, New York City and Paris. "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," Facebook's chief AI scientist, Yann LeCun, said in a post.

The lab will be helmed by Joelle Pineau, a computer science professor at McGill University interested in learning and the co-director of the university's Reasoning and Learning Lab. Her research has focused on planning, learning and decision-making as well as human-robot interactions. She has published a number of studies on dialog systems and worked on a team that developed an intelligent robotic wheelchair.

LeCun says that, like other Facebook AI research labs, the Montreal site will engage with research communities via publications, conferences and collaborations. Facebook will also partner with McGill University as well as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms 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," said LeCun.