Last time we checked in on J.P. Morgan’s artificial intelligence plans, the firm had just hired a renowned AI and machine learning specialist to help build out the team in New York. Now, it’s Tucker Balch’s colleagues on the West Coast that are making a statement.
The Silicon Valley team, led by Apoorv Saxena, JPM’s new global head of AI technology, is hosting an in-person open hiring event in early February. Details surrounding the event are relatively sparse – Saxena and his colleagues are asking interested parties to contact the bank’s recruiters to RSVP – but they note that they are actively looking to bring on multiple AI backend engineers and machine learning engineers, among other specialties. The event will reportedly take place between Feb. 5-7, presumably at J.P. Morgan San Francisco office. JPMorgan declined to comment.
The big sell, however, is that the bank’s AI team will soon be moving to its shiny new digs in Palo Alto, right next door to Facebook and Google, Saxena’s former employer. The office, scheduled to open next year, will host up to 1,000 financial technology-related employees, including the growing AI team.
Saxena is already hiring. As we reported earlier, he poached an AI engineer from Facebook during his second week on the job and added Naren Chittar, a data science and AI specialist from Salesforce late last year. Chittar spent three years at Salesforce, having arrived after it acquired his four-person startup MinHash, a “virtual assistant” for marketers that relies on natural language processing and machine learning.
Saxena's group is taking on big Silicon Valley firms as it tries attracting talent. J.P. Morgan signed on as the diamond sponsor of November’s AI Frontiers Conference (which was co-founded by Saxena). The bank acknowledged at the time that it was using the industry event as “a recruiting platform” that would provide the bank more visibility to the AI community. It would be interesting to know how happy employers were to have their AI engineers drop in on the conference. Past sponsors include Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. Not anymore.
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