In September, Facebook announced its plans for a lab devoted to making advances in artificial intelligence. Today, it was announced that NYU Professor Yann LeCun has been appointed the lab's director.
LeCun is currently the director of Data Science at NYU, where his research focuses on "deep learning—a branch of machine learning in which researchers aim to emulate humans’ auditory and visual systems." Together, Facebook and NYU will conduct studies in the areas of data science, machine learning, and AI. LeCun's team, which is still hiring additional staff, will be based out of three locations: Menlo Park, California (Facebook's headquarters), New York City, and London.
Artificial intelligence has huge potential for giants like Facebook, and it's a field being eyed by Google, as well. Last year Google hired Ray Kurzeweil to focus on machine-learning and language-processing. It's possible Facebook could utilize artificial intelligence and deep learning to better harness the power of the massive amounts of data it collects, serve up better content to users, and of course, improve their advertisements.