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Facebook users upload 350 million photos onto the social network every day, far beyond the ability of human beings to comprehensively look at, much less analyze. And so that’s one big reason the company just hired New York University (NYU) machine learning expert Yann LeCun, an eminent practitioner of an artificial intelligence (AI) technique known as “deep learning.” As director of Facebook’s new AI laboratory, LeCun will stay on at NYU part time, while working from a new Facebook facility on Astor Place in New York City. “Yann LeCun's move will be an exciting step both for machine learning and for Facebook, which has a lot of unique social data,” says Andrew Ng, who directs the Stanford Artifical Intelligence Laboratory and who led a deep-learning project to analyze YouTube video for Google. “Machine learning is already used in hundreds of places throughout Facebook, ranging from photo tagging to ranking articles to your newsfeed. Better machine learning will be able to help improve all of these features, as well as help Facebook create new applications that none of us have dreamed of yet.” What might those futuristic advances be? Facebook did not reply to repeated requests for comment.