Jun 2, 2022 - Technology

Meta reorganization aims to decentralize Facebook's AI efforts

The Meta house at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Facebook parent Meta announced a broad reorganization of its AI efforts Thursday, a move that will embed more work within product teams and will also see a top AI executive leave the company.

Why it matters: Like rivals Google and Microsoft, Meta is looking to make sure that machine learning and AI are used broadly throughout the company, not locked away in research units.

Driving the news: Facebook, which had previously centralized much of its AI effort, will shift much of that effort to product teams, which were already doing an increasing amount of work around machine learning.

  • VP Jerome Pesenti, who has spent the last four years leading AI efforts and helped design the new structure, will leave Meta later this month.
  • The Responsible AI team will join Meta's Social Impact team, while Facebook AI Research (FAIR) will move into the research unit within Reality Labs.
  • A new cross-functional team of AI leads will report to Joelle Pineau, while chief AI scientist Yann LeCun, who helped establish Meta's AI efforts nearly a decade ago, will remain in his current role.

Between the lines: The move is unrelated to — but comes just a day after — longtime Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg announced her plan to leave the company.

What they're saying: "Whether for personalization or protection, whether to improve existing services or create entirely novel ones, our future depends on our ability to leverage the newest AI technology at scale," Pineau and Reality Labs head Andrew Bosworth said in a blog post.

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