Facebook expanding its Montreal AI lab to double the number of researchers
Although Facebook has only been in the city of Montreal for a year, it is already thinking of intensifying its AI research by hiring new researchers and expanding its labs. According to a report on Montreal International, the lab would hire 60 new workers, which would triple its workforce.
Making magnetic resonance imaging machines have never been a part of Facebook’soperations, and they certainly don’t have any future plans concerning it.
Nevertheless, it didn’t stop researchers at their AI lab in Montreal from teaming up with NYU School of medicine to make MRI scans that are more accurate and faster too.
On Thursday the 20th September 2018, Facebook celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Montreal lab by highlighting a few research work including the MRI project. The company also announced that the lab would be moving to a new space to be able to accommodate their new hires. The lab plans to bring in 60 new people, which is a massive expansion from the 20 researchers that currently work there.
Joelle Pineau, associate professor at McGill University and head of the AI lab, said that medical imaging was just perfect for the kind of “fundamental research” on AI she was hired to carry out.
“I had one earlier this year; they had to image my shoulder. It was like 45 minutes sitting in the machine,” she said.
One of the issues with MRI lies with how it operates. It essentially ‘takes’ a series of pictures that act as “slices: of the human body. These slices are then assembled to create a 3D model. The whole process can be very time to consume.
“What we’re looking at with our technology is, what if you don’t need to look at all the slices to build up a full 3D image?” she said. “We took a few slices and based on the information in those slices, we decide what slices to get next. So now we have an adaptive acquisition procedure.”
The idea is that an algorithm can be used to guess how the missing 3D pieces should be filled in. Those guesses are then tested to improve accuracy. The research has a lot of applications that are much more than medical imaging.
Researches like this matter significantly to the company seeing as they depend heavily on artificial intelligence to keep the social networking empire up and running.
Back in April when the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the U.S. Congress due to the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, he made repeated mention of AI tools being a vital keel for the social media platform.
Facebook currently uses AI in blocking bad actors, or vicious individual as from setting up fake accounts and detecting terrorist propaganda. Despite all that, Zuckerberg said that there are other problems still out of the reach of AI tools. An example of this is the hate speech problem that continues to plague American social media.