Facebook Appoints Former IBM Watson Executive as Head of AI

Facebook hired a former IBM executive to spearhead the company's artificial intelligence ventures.

The shift in focus is also evident in Amazon, Google and Microsoft, who are likewise bulking up their AI departments.

Jérôme Pesenti, who headed development of IBM's Watson platform, has now been appointed as vice president of AI, a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC. More recently, Pesenti worked at the BenevolentAI, according to Quartz.

At the samae time, Yann LeCun, AI expert and an alumnus of New York University will be promoted as Facebook's chief AI scientist following his previous position as the director of the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research unit.

A few leaders of FAIR group, as well as the head of Facebook's Applied Machine Learning Group, will work under Pesenti, who in then report to Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's CTO.

Facebook will grow its AI capacities under Pesenti, explained the spokesman. The FAIR group comprises of over130 people globally. Besides equipping the team for growth, the shift will also assist the technology transfer from the FAIR to AML group, said the spokesman.