Facebook opens AI lab in Canada, with Trudeau on hand

September 15, 2017
"Creativity is the driving force behind our prosperity, not just in Montreal but across Canada," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said

Facebook opened its first artificial intelligence lab in Canada on Friday, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on hand to praise the impact of such cutting-edge research.

"Creativity is the driving force behind our prosperity, not just in Montreal but across Canada," Trudeau told a crowd of McGill University students gathered for the launch.

Joelle Pineau, a specialist in at McGill, will head the research center. She said she hopes Facebook's investment in research here will lead to more AI study.

This is the fourth AI lab opened by Facebook. The others are in Paris, New York and Menlo Park, California.

Pineau's focus on enabling computers to talk to humans in a natural way is of key interest to Facebook, which is competing with Apple, Google and others to develop virtual assistants.

The company also announced Can$7 million (US$6 million) in seed money for local AI research firms.

Google and Microsoft already have so-called deep learning labs in Canada, which over the years has fostered a small but talented group of AI specialists.

The United States remains the global leader in AI, but much of its talent comes from abroad. Canada, with its less restrictive immigration policies, has become an attractive place to set up shop.

Ottawa has demonstrated a willingness to develop the field, earmarking Can$125 million (US$103 million) in its last budget for AI research.

"This new laboratory... will show that Canada is a leader in the economy of the future and an influential player in the field of artificial in the world," Trudeau said.

Explore further: Trudeau looks to make Canada 'world leader' in AI research

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Google braces for huge EU fine over Android

July 18, 2018

Google prepared Wednesday to be hit with huge EU fine for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system in a ruling that could spark new tensions between Brussels and Washington.

EU set to fine Google billions over Android: sources

July 17, 2018

The EU is set to fine US internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Osiris1
not rated yet Sep 16, 2017
FB put the think/lab in the Great White North so that when the REAL Terminator walks out of it after massacring the staff, he or liquid metal she will have a long walk to the United States and Pennsylvaia avenue.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.