Artificial intelligence experts ‘crowd’ away from Meta

Artificial intelligence experts ‘crowd’ away from Meta


2022-04-08 00:05:40

At least four prominent members of the Meta AI department have resigned in recent months. In it, there are scientists who have published dozens of academic articles in world-famous journals and created many of the breakthroughs that the company is applying on Facebook and Instagram.

Karl Hermann, an AI entrepreneur who used to work at DeepMind, Meta’s rival lab, on Monday (March 28) said the actual number could be up to half a dozen, especially the lab. The company’s AI experiment in London is seeing an alarming number of layoffs.

“Meta’s London office has ‘collapsed’ as most of its top researchers have left in the past six weeks,” Karl said.

Neil Lawrence, professor of machine learning at the University of Cambridge, said he was not surprised by the situation. “Mark Zuckerberg didn’t invest properly in anything from the start in his London office.”

Among those who left was Edward Grefenstette, the top scientist who had led Meta’s efforts in a branch of AI, known as reinforcement learning. He left in February and declined to comment on the reason for leaving.

Heinrich Kuttler, one of the company’s technical research team managers, also joined Inflection AI, a startup founded by DeepMind lab co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and LinkedIn billionaire Reid Hoffman create. Kuttler joined Meta in January 2019, after more than 2 years working at DeepMind.

Brain drain without end

One of the most recent departures is Admad Beirami, who left his position as a research scientist at Meta in January to join Google in a similar role.

Before that, last December, scientist Douwe Kiela resigned after 5 years at the company and is a research team leader at an AI start-up called Hugging Face.

According to CNBC, the brain drain at Meta is expected to continue, with some employees at the company’s AI division already planning to quit in the coming weeks. It is still not known exactly why people left at the same time.

“Some people may jump to other big labs because they feel they can better advance their careers and research programs,” the source told CNBC.

“Maybe they just want to start a business or join a smaller company. For some people, the company’s stock price decline is also a reason, but I don’t think it is the main reason.”

“People change their minds and move on with new lives,” says Yann LeCun, Meta AI Scientific Lead and co-founder of the company’s AI research department.

He also added: “Ed Grefenstette is working for an unknown startup company. I was quite sad when he left. But I also understand that people’s minds are changing. I don’t know what Heinrich’s plan is, and I can’t find any common cause. We have not seen any unusual behavior from FAIR (Facebook AI research lab) London or any other region.”

Driven by the belief that AI will change the world, US tech giants have invested heavily in this area in recent years, with most of the funding being used to recruit top talent. from a number of major universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in the UK and MIT, Stanford or NYU in the US.

Meta’s AI lab brain drain has been going on for the last 2 years. Rob Fergus, co-founder of the Meta AI lab, quits the company in 2020 to join DeepMind and build a team in New York.

Meanwhile, Marc Aurelio Ranzato, the research team manager, also left Meta AI in August 2021 to join the opponent.

Not only related to the AI ​​department, the company owned by billionaire Zuckerberg also witnessed many departures of other key executives in 2021 such as Deborah Liu (Director of Facebook Marketplace), David Fischer (Director of Facebook Marketplace), David Fischer (Director of Facebook Marketplace), David Fischer (Director of Facebook Marketplace). Director of advertising business and sales organization), Hugo Barra (Vice President in charge of virtual reality)…

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