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The personnel changes come as Amazon, Google and Microsoft also staff up in AI.
Jérôme Pesenti, who led the development of the Watson platform at IBM after IBM acquired a company he co-founded, Vivismimo, is taking the newly created role of vice president of AI, a Facebook spokesman told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday. Most recently Pesenti was at European company BenevolentAI. Quartz originally reported the news.
Meanwhile Yann LeCun, an AI luminary from New York University who joined Facebook in 2013 to be the director the then-new Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research unit, is leaving that post and becoming Facebook's chief AI scientist, the spokesman said.
Several leaders from the FAIR group, along with the head of Facebook's Applied Machine Learning Group, will report to Pesenti, who in turn will report to Facebook's CTO, Mike Schroepfer, the spokesman said.
Facebook will accelerate its growth in AI under Pesenti, the spokesman said. The FAIR group has more than 130 people around the world. In addition to better accommodating for growth, the changes should also help assist in the transfer of technology from the FAIR group to the AML group, the spokesman said.