Social media giant Facebook announced on Tuesday, June 2nd that it has opened an artificial intelligence research center in its Paris office. The goal of the new research center is to strengthen its foothold in Europe as the company expands globally.
The team begins work in the new AI center this week, according to Facebook CEO Zuckerberg.
“We chose Paris for this expansion because France is home to some of the best researchers in the world,” the California-based company noted in a brief statement announcing the opening of the new facility.
More on new Facebook artificial intelligence lab
The new research center will be a home for Facebook’s AI team, which has the stated goal of “developing technologies that give people better ways to communicate.” The general mission is to create easy-to-use tools to analyze the text, photos and video that users share with each other. The firm noted in May that it had more than 40 people on the AI team, which had been based mainly in Menlo Park, CA and the Big Apple.
Zuckerberg commented on Facebook on Tuesday that the new French research center would share its findings through both publications and open-source outlets, as well as invest in “top scientific institutions.” His post also highlighted that Facebook already has an agreement in place for collaboration with the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA).
“France already has one of the strongest AI research communities in the world, so we think this is the ideal home for our new team,” he wrote. “I’m excited for us to be taking another step toward the future of computing and connecting the world.”
Statements from Facebook tech execs
In a recent interview with the BBC, Facebook CTO Mike Schorepfer noted he believed the threat of AI had been “overblown” in the media.
Yann LeCun, who leads Facebook’s AI research, agreed, saying that “we have nothing to worry about” in the immediate future. “We have a long way to go to make machines as intelligent as we’d like them to be, and there are technical hurdles that we don’t yet know how to solve,” he told the BBC.
“Human-level AI is very far down the line – it will be several decades,” LeCun continued. That gives the AI community and society lots of time “to talk about the ethics.”