Facebook today named the recipients of 22 servers that Facebook designed specifically for artificial intelligence (A.I.) research. This comes after Facebook’s introduction of the giveaway program for academic researchers back in February.
University departments in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom are getting the machines, the designs of which Facebook open-sourced in December. The servers can support as many as eight graphics processing units (GPUs), which are often used to train artificial neural networks (ANNs) with lots of data. After being trained, the ANNs can make inferences on new data. This process is common in the area of deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence.
“There is a tremendous diversity of work happening across AI research and we believe that providing these talented teams of researchers with the technology they need to aid their efforts will deliver faster progress and drive innovation across the industry,” Yann LeCun, head of the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group, said in a statement that identifies the winners.
Apple, Baidu, Google, Microsoft, and other technology companies are involved in deep learning and typically deploy GPU-based servers in data centers.
Facebook uses A.I. to generate captions of photos for screen readers and translate text in users’ posts, among other things. Last week Facebook open-sourced more of its A.I. software. The FAIR lab was established in 2013.