Profs at U of Washington, Carnegie Mellon Join FB

Facebook has hired three AI and robotics professors from the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University to head new AI labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh, according to a story in The New York Times.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he thinks AI will help the company deal with issues related to personal use of data of its users. With the new labs, the company plans to recruit and train other AI experts.  Facebook already operates AI labs in Silicon Valley, New York, Paris and Montreal.

Luke Zettlemoyer, a highly regarded AI researcher, left the Allen Institute and now works only part-time at the University of Washington.

The expansion will have a negative impact on the nonprofit university research centers, which are finding it increasingly difficult to retain professors as tech companies offer sky-high salaries and benefits to lure them away. Luke Zettlemoyer had been the senior research manager of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, or AI2, founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. He will continue working part-time as a professor at U of W, according to Geekwire.

“It is worrisome that they are eating the seed corn,” said Dan Weld, a computer science professor at the University of Washington. “If we lose all our faculty, it will be hard to keep preparing the next generation of researchers.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that JPMorgan Chase hired Carnegie Mellon’s head of machine learning technology, Manuela Veloso, to oversee its AI operation. Other companies, from Google to Baidu are also vying for top AI talent that is located at universities.

read more at NYTimes