Google announces it will open AI lab in Princeton

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By Philip Sean Curran
Staff Writer

Tech giant Google will open an artificial intelligence lab in Palmer Square, Princeton, early in 2019, with two computer science professors at Princeton University in charge of the facility, the university announced on Dec. 18.

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University administrators said the lab will focus on “machine learning, in which computers learn from existing information and develop the ability to draw conclusions and make decisions in new situations that were not in the original data.”

An example, the university said, includes self-driving cars.

“A primary focus of the group is developing efficient methods for faster training of learning machines,” Professor Elad Hazan said in the university’s news release announcing the arrangement.

Hazan and his university colleague, Yoram Singer, will be in charge of the lab, which will have graduate students and other individuals working there.

“We specifically chose a location very close to the university to promote such collaborations,” Amy McDonald Sandjideh, a Google program manager, said in the university’s announcement.

“Particularly having access to graduate students and even undergrads can provide a lot of inspiration. Sometimes you learn the most from teaching and helping younger people understand what you have been working on and that can really push you in new directions,” she said.

Singer is also a Google research scientist, with the university saying he and Hazan “will split their time working for Google and Princeton.”

The lab will have office space at 1 Palmer Square.

“We are thrilled to welcome Google to Palmer Square,” Lori Rabon, vice president of Palmer Square Management, said in a statement. “Their cutting edge technology, commitment to research and collaboration with Princeton University will bring opportunity and innovation to the town as a whole.”

“I’m thrilled Google will be opening an office here in Princeton,” Mayor Liz Lempert said. “Their presence adds another layer of energy to Princeton’s burgeoning innovation environment. It’s an exciting development for both the university and for the town.”

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