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Partnership

23/01/2018

Facebook AI Research strengthens its partnership with Inria and academic research

Facebook is investing an additional 10 million Euros and doubling the Facebook AI Research (FAIR) team in order to accelerate research on artificial intelligence in France. As a result, Facebook's European hub is strengthening its partnership with Inria.

After having chosen Paris to set up the European hub of Facebook AI Research (FAIR) in 2015, Facebook announces the strengthening of its historic partnership with Inria which, notably, includes welcoming Inria PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to FAIR Paris. Moreover, Facebook announces a tripling of its investment in AI in France between now and 2022, as well as doubling the number of researchers and engineers in Paris. By developing its teams, by supporting talent and by developing the collaboration with research institutions and start-ups, Facebook wishes to actively contribute to France's ambition of becoming the European figurehead of AI.

This investment is excellent news for French research and innovation. Since the opening of the FAIR European laboratory in Paris in 2015, we have formed a relationship of trust and strong collaboration with Facebook, and our researchers are attracted by its Open Innovation approach and it fruitful interactions with the scientific community. We are delighted to continue developing joint projects.

                                                                                  François Sillion, Acting CEO of Inria


Facebook's investment will focus on the following actions: 

Doubling the number of researchers and engineers in the Parisian AI research team: FAIR announces the recruitment of 30 additional researchers and engineers, bringing the number to 60 between now and 2022, in order to strengthen its community. FAIR Paris offers attractive prospects to French researchers and attracts the best European talent to France, to work on ambitious research projects in automatic language processing, language recognition, image recognition or logical and physical infrastructures of advanced AI systems.

The investment of an additional 10 million Euros to support French AI research and innovation ecosystems that will lead to: 

  • A strengthening of the partnership between Facebook AI Research, Inria and other representatives of academic research. FAIR Paris and Inria will strengthen their historic partnership, entered into following the opening of FAIR Paris in 2015, through welcoming Inria PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.
  • The quadrupling of the number of post-doctoral researchers welcomed by FAIR Paris and of the financing of study grants: FAIR Paris will welcome 30 post-doctoral researchers benefiting from CIFRE (French industrial agreements for training through research) grants, bringing to 40 the number of post-doctoral researchers welcomed by FAIR Paris in 2022.  In order to promote the greatest possible access to research in AI to a wide range of profiles, a partnership will be formed with several French universities for the funding of study grants, excellence grants and PhDs in mathematics, physics, computer science and complex systems engineering.
  • The financing of servers and open databases: Facebook will finance 10 latest-generation servers equipped with eight GPUs to a central body responsible for giving access to them to several research organisations and start-ups. These 10 servers are in addition to the five servers given to French research institutes in 2015.
  • A fund for the collection of open sets of data for learning AI algorithms will also be financed by Facebook in favour of a French public institution.

Finally, at the end of 2017 FAIR Paris launched a programme made up of five AI Masterclass Labs in partnership with Xavier Niel's computer programming school École 42 , facilitated by researchers from FAIR Paris, and which has brought together thousands of developers in dozens of cities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


FACEBOOK AI RESEARCH (FAIR) PARIS: FACEBOOK'S EUROPEAN AI RESEARCH HUB

Inaugurated in June 2015, and under the management of Antoine Bordes, FAIR Paris is Facebook's European research centre in artificial intelligence. Today the team includes 40 researchers, engineers and PhD students, including numerous international talents from Russia, Italy, Senegal, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The team is working on long-term research projects in the fields of automatic understanding of language, image recognition and types of software and physical infrastructures for these advanced systems. With the teams at the New York, San Francisco and - since 2017 - Montreal centres, FAIR now has 150 researchers across the world.

The laboratory has forged close links with French research by supporting scientific institutions like Inria, through welcoming PhD students and post-doctoral researchers or by signing CIFRE contracts with universities such as ENS Ulm, Paris Dauphine and UPMC. This partnership approach has also led to the donation of 22 high performance computing servers to 15 universities in Europe, including five in France, and, in the near future, 10 additional servers.


Keywords: Facebook IA Research Artificial intelligence FAIR Partnership research

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