Criteo unveils €20m AI research center to further machine learning in adtech

The three-year project is geared towards establishing Paris as a regional hub for AI research

France-based adtech outfit Criteo has announced the launch of a €20m three-year project to further research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) that will see it work with clients and partners alike to further the use of machine learning in the advertising vertical.

Dubbed Criteo AI Lab, the project will see it attempt to build “deep models that are interpretable, transparent and user-centric” then use these insights to form “industry standards for performance measurement and best practice”, with the subsequent learnings to be made available to the entire industry.

Criteo claims the project will also explore models for the responsible use of data – an increasingly high priority for advertisers as demonstrated by the Cambridge Analytica affair, as well as the introduction of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the EU – with the company asserting the scheme will also help bridge theory and practice.

Additionally, the adtech company claimed it is preparing a significant recruitment drive to man the project which is geared towards establishing Paris as a regional hub for AI research.

JB Rudelle, Criteo, chief executive officer, said the lab was indicative of the company’s efforts to establish the French capital as an epicenter for European adtech, as well as lead the industry conversation around machine learning.

"Criteo possesses very large datasets and computational power, combined with an innovative culture and talents. We believe this is the perfect mix to succeed in Artificial Intelligence," he added.

Suju Rajan, Criteo, vice president and head of research, will lead the initiative which the company hopes will help further its recruitment efforts in the field of machine learning. "Online advertising — the main economic model behind the internet — is evolving. Our ability to face these changes must rely on strong fundamental research dedicated to the creation of new principles, models, and algorithms," she added.

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