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Facebook, Google in 'Deep Learning' Arms Race

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants are battling to acquire expertise in a once-obscure branch of artificial intelligence that’s improving speech recognition, online-ad targeting and other technologies.

Their main problem: There isn’t enough talent. Only a handful of researchers can call themselves experts in the red-hot field known as “deep learning,” a branch of machine learning that tries to teach computers to see and hear the way humans do.

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