- Facebook is following the path of Google and Microsoft’s AI research efforts and setting up an artificial intelligence research lab in Montreal, according to a Fast Company report. The Montreal research team is expected to have about 30 people in the coming years in addition to Facebook's current team of AI researchers stationed in California, New York and France.
- The lab will be run by Joelle Pineau, a Montreal-based professor at McGill University who specializes in dialogue systems and reinforcement learning. To withstand its momentum in gaining tech talent in Montreal, Facebook is delegating $5.8 million to McGill University, University of Montreal, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms.
- Before the announcement of the Montreal lab, Facebook AI Research (FAIR), created M, the virtual assistant for Facebook’s Messenger, according to the report.
Competition in AI, much like everything else in the technical landscape, is unavoidable but so is collaboration. The Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society was formed a year ago by Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft. Apple joined the alliance in January. Apple, alongside Google and Microsoft, all possess the most digital data which is imperative to the development of AI, thus creating a powerhouse for AI capabilities.
Due to overcrowding and the expensive cost of living, Silicon Valley is unintentionally pushing away top talent. In April, Indeed found that of those looking for work in Silicon Valley, 38% admitted to looking for jobs not within their metro area. While Seattle, Washington D.C. and Detroit are emerging as other American tech hubs, Canada is also feeling the tech boom.
Montreal, now home to Google and Microsoft's AI efforts, is emerging as a top tech hub, one with a focus on AI technology and innovation. A recent report ranked Toronto as the top city for tech employment in Canada with Montreal close behind. Currently, 37% of AI jobs are found in Toronto followed by 13% in Montreal, according to Techvibes.
Technology is present in every industry so tech talent has the freedom to work anywhere as the need for IT talent grows. The job market for techies is expected to grow to 1.3 million new jobs by 2022, with no signs of slowing down and foreign countries are not only accommodating tech talent, but welcoming it.