Google Expands AI Research In Montreal
Google Expands AI Research In Montreal
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Google has announced new and extended grants for the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, under the direction of Yoshua Bengio. Adding to Montreal becoming a hub for AI and technological innovation, Google is also opening a deep learning and AI research group in its office there. 


Over a period of three years Google will make donations totalling $4.5M ($3.375M USD) to MILA, which spans the University of Montreal and McGill University and has more than 150 researchers in deep learning, including students, making it, according to the post on the Google Official Canada Blog, the greatest academic concentration in the world.

MILA is headed by Yoshua Bengio, Professor in the University of Montreal's Department of Computer Science and Operations Research and his existing Focused Research Award is being expanded together with new awards being made to Pascal Vincent, Aaron Courville, Christopher Pal, Doina Precup, Joelle Pineau, Simon Lacoste-Julien, and Laurent Charlin.


The blog post also announces the formation of an in-house Google deep learning and AI research group for Montreal to be led by Hugo Larochelle described as:

a leader within the deep learning community who is returning from Boston to Montreal.

This group will be linked to the Google Brain team based in Google's HQ in Mountain View, California within which Geoffrey Hinton is Distinguished Researcher while still being Emeritus Distinguished Professor at the University of Toronto. Samy Bengio is among the Google Brain researchers with a list of interests very similar to that of brother Yoshua. Venture Beat reported that Yoshua Bengio said that he would not be formally allying himself with Google because he wants to stay independent. He intends to stay on the research side and continue to supervise students, not shift toward development.

Shibl Mourad, the head of engineering for Google's Montreal office, told The Canadian Press that Google hopes to help turn the city into a "super-cluster'' of AI knowledge that will attract corporate investors, burgeoning startups and researchers and that much of the credit for this goes to Bengio and his colleagues:

"Their contribution was foundational. Had these researchers not invested that decade of their lives, we would not be where we are.'' 



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