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U of Alberta receives funding to hire AI research chair from Google-owned company


By David Schwartz
Published: April 10th, 2018

DeepMind, the artificial intelligence company owned by Google, is expanding an existing relationship with the University of Alberta by funding a new research chair.

The endowed chair position will be in U of Alberta’s Department of Computing Science and will be filled by a senior AI researcher, according to Jonathan Schaeffer, professor in the Department of Computing Science and Dean of the Faculty of Science.

While the amount of the gift is confidential, the researcher who fills the position will have the freedom to pursue anything within the AI field. “It’s an amazing opportunity for us to grow our professoriate by one because a lot of that funding has been guaranteed in perpetuity by DeepMind,” Schaffer noted.

The endowment follows the opening of DeepMind’s first international lab in Edmonton last  summer. “[DeepMind] wants to have a symbiotic relationship with the university,” Schaffer said. “They want people to work together, they want to have graduate students, and they want to have postdocs [and] undergraduates, so the [funding] really is a way of just saying this is a partnership.”

Source: The Gateway

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