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Pinterest

Pinterest, the online bookmarking service, has created Pinterest Labs, a formal unit to house its technology research efforts, the company said on Tuesday.

Pinterest Labs will focus on artificial intelligence areas such as machine learning, image recognition, and data analytics. It will work with top researchers inside and outside the company, including through partnerships with UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC San Diego, and other universities. Pinterest chief scientist Jure Leskovec, whose startup Pinterest acquired in 2015 and a currently an associate professor at Stanford, will lead the new division.

Formalizing research: Despite making its name as an online service for collecting photos of home decor or recipes, Pinterest has been heavily investing in technologies such as machine learning, computer vision, and recommendation algorithms. These technologies are increasingly behind some of the company's new features such as "Lens," a new tool that recognizes the items in a image when the user points their phone's camera at something. In the last few years, the company has also acquired several startups developing such technologies, so a formal division should help it to better focus and coordinate its research.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.