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Meta’s head of AI to depart in group reorg

Meta’s head of AI to depart in group reorg


AI teams are being shuffled as Meta races to build the metaverse and compete with TikTok

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An image of the Meta logo.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A day after Sheryl Sandberg announced she is leaving as Meta’s COO later this year, the company is losing another executive amid a reorganization of its artificial intelligence group.

Jerome Pesenti, Meta’s VP of AI for the past four years, will leave later this month as the company closer integrates his AI teams across various product groups rather than have AI function as a centralized organization. AI is already used for everything from ordering what you see when you open Facebook and Instagram to the software powering the Oculus VR headset. The change is meant to “leverage the newest AI technology at scale” across the company, said Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth in a post announcing the reorg.

The AI research team led by Yann LeCun, Meta’s chief AI scientist and an early pioneer in the field, will move to Bosworth’s Reality Labs, further consolidating resources in the AR / VR division that has already swelled to more than 17,000 employees. AI is a critical component of building the future hardware Meta hopes will define its vision of the metaverse. And, in the nearer term, it’s key to better competing with TikTok, which has popularized a new way AI is used to suggest content.

“More centralized approaches run into their limits when the last mile proves to be too far for downstream teams to close the gap,” wrote Bosworth. “With this new team structure, we are excited to push the boundaries of what AI can do and use it to create new features and products for billions of people.”