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Google Opens New AI Research Unit In Canada

By Victor Thomson , Nov 22, 2016 04:56 AM EST
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Google will open a new AI research unit in Montreal, taking advantage of Canada's expertise in the field.

Google's Montreal AI Research Unit

Task automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics are already widely used in business. Google is one of the big tech companies positioning itself at the forefront of research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). According to ZDNet, the company has announced that it is opening a research group in its Montreal office.

According to a blog post  by Shibl Mourad, the head of engineering at Google Montreal, the new research unit will focus on AI and deep learning research. The Montreal AI research group will be led by Hugo Larochelle, a leader within the deep learning community and it will be linked to the Google Brain team based in Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

Mourad noted in his blog post that, thanks to a combination of a growing AI startup community, corporate investment and substantial government funding, Montreal has become a "global machine intelligence powerhouse." Combined, the McGill University and University of Montreal have more than 150 researchers working on deep learning. This is world's greatest academic concentration in the field.

Google's Other Montreal Projects

Google will also provide financing over three years for seven faculties from different Montreal institutions, by funding a new grant for the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA). The new grant comes to increase to $4.5 million CAD ($3.375 million USD) the support Google already provides for deep learning research at MILA.

According to Fortune, part of Google's investment in its Montreal AI research unit will involve funding renowned expert Yoshua Bengio's research projects. Bengio, along with other AI researchers like Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun are considered by analysts to be responsible for a modern-day renaissance in artificial intelligence. This AI revolution is made possible thanks to their work in deep learning.

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