Facebook’s AI head steps down; former IBM exec Jerome Pesenti hired

By : |January 24, 2018 0

Facebook’s head of internal artificial intelligence research division, Yann LeCun has decided to step down from the position in order to take a more dedicated research role. Jerome Pesenti, former CEO of AI startup BenevolentTech and CTO of IBM’s Big Data group has been hired in place of LeCun. The news was first reported by Quartz.

LeCun had been instrumental in developing modern approaches to AI at Facebook. LeCun primarily developed uses of convolutional neural nets for analyzing the visual data central to computer vision techniques.

Pesenti’s official role at Facebook will be vice president of AI division(FAIR). He will report directly to Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer and oversee all that is happening in the company’s AI division.

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“There was a need for someone to basically oversee all the AI at Facebook, across research, development, and have a connection with the product,” LeCun told Quartz. He further added, “AML and FAIR were reporting to the CTO, who no longer has the bandwidth to take care of that, given the increased importance of AI and more systems built around deep learning.”

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