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Facebook Invests $10 million in French AI Center

  • 26 January 2018
  • Cas Proffitt

Artificial intelligence has formed the base for many new jobs, Chief Data Officers, AI specialists, Neural Network Developers, Programmers, Specialized Hardware Developers, and many more. AI is helping to push the limits for data modeling and interpretation. We recently covered the first Defense Department effort to utilize AI for drone footage, codenamed Project Maven.

Without machine learning, it is estimated that more than 99% of all reconnaissance footage from drones went completely unviewed. In similar fashion, IBM reported that more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced every day. That is 6 orders of magnitude more than a terabyte (1012), this amount is also known as  “2.5 exabytes (2.5×1018)”.

Without artificial intelligence, it is physically impossible to make use of most of the data we generate, but when we apply machine learning to this enormous amount of data, it becomes possible to discern valuable insights which can be applied to virtually every sector of government, consumer interaction, and private-sector business.

Facebook believes in the benefits of artificial intelligence, and in an effort to show their investment in the future of the technology, they recently announced an initiative to support an AI center in France. Their contribution consists of more than $10 million worth of funds to help the center expand their employed researchers, Ph.Ds, and support staff.

Ph.D scholarships through the program are slated to increase in number from 10 to 40, along with a two-fold increase in the number of scientists on hand from 30 to 60.

How long will the collaboration begin?

Fortune reports that the collaboration will provide benefits over the course of five years from initiation. During this period, the business will be assisting citizens with personal skill development, providing funds to advance promising candidates through their doctoral programs, and driving AI research forward through increased personnel and funding availability.

According to a Facebook release, they also aim to further their personal development initiative through a partnership with Freeformers. They estimate that around 300,000 of the candidates will receive in-person training, while the rest will learn online.

What other programs is Facebook operating in the same vein?

According to VentureBeat, the company is supporting advanced skill training and acquisition within several European countries including Italy, Spain, and Poland. In order to offer this service, community skill hubs are being opened in the respective countries so citizens can gain access to these valuable insights.

Recently, they claimed to have usership which includes 35% or more of the small businesses in Europe. Facebook seeks to educate more than one million small business owners by 2020, helping to:

Teach digital skills, media literacy, and online safety to underrepresented groups.

What started the events leading up to this investment?

Facebook initially opened the AI research center in 2015 as part of their “Facebook AI Research” (FAIR) initiative. By increasing the funds available to the center, it is likely that Facebook is seeking to move forward at an even further increased rate than before.

Would you take online classes from Facebook to develop your personal and professional skills? Let us know in the comments below!

About Cas Proffitt

Cas is a B2B Content Marketer and Brand Consultant who specializes in disruptive technology. She covers topics like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and big data, to name a few. Cas is also co-owner of an esports organization and spends much of her time teaching gamers how to make a living doing what they love while bringing positivity to the gaming community.