The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Face­book an­nounced on Thurs­day it was do­nat­ing com­puter servers to a num­ber of re­search in­sti­tu­tions across Europe, start­ing with Ger­many, to ac­cel­er­ate re­search ef­forts in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) and ma­chine learn­ing. Face­book founder and chief Mark Zucker­berg was in Ber­lin to re­ceive a prize from Ger­man pub­lisher Axel Springer and an­nounced that the group would do­nate a to­tal of 25 servers, each with eight graph­ics pro­cess­ing units (GPU), or 200 in all. Face­book said in a state­ment it would "work with re­cip­i­ents to en­sure they have the soft­ware to make use of the servers and send re­searchers to col­lab­o­rate with th­ese in­sti­tu­tions."

The first four servers will be do­nated to a lab­o­ra­tory at Ber­lin's Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity, where they will be used in im­age anal­y­sis of breast can­cer and chem­i­cal modelling of mol­e­cules, the state­ment said. Other re­search in­sti­tu­tions would be in­vited to sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tions to re­ceive a GPU do­na­tion. "Some of the best ideas in AI have come from academia but th­ese same re­searchers of­ten face bot­tle­necks in their re­search due to lim­ited com­pute re­sources," said Yann LeCun, di­rec­tor of AI re­search at Face­book's ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence lab FAIR. "Europe has a high con­cen­tra­tion of tal­ent in terms of com­put­ing and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and we are ex­cited to work openly with and in­vest in this re­search com­mu­nity." Other groups such as Google, Ap­ple and IBM are also ac­tive in AI re­search, with stud­ies sug­gest­ing that the eco­nomic im­pact of AI over the next decade is pro­jected to be enor­mous.

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