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Report: BlackRock to establish AI lab

BlackRock Inc. is building a "BlackRock Lab for Artificial Intelligence" in Palo Alto, Calif., according to a memo seen by the Financial Times.

The center will focus on artificial intelligence research and is part of BlackRock's "Tech 2020" plan, which also includes creating an internal "Data Science Core" unit.

Stephen Boyd, who has consulted for BlackRock since 2013, will lead the AI lab. Sherry Marcus, former chief data analytics officer of hedge fund Millennium Management, and Rachel Schutt, former chief data scientist at News Corp., will oversee the new data science center.

The plan highlights asset managers' heightened interest in AI as they seek to improve the performance of their fund managers, automate back-office functions and boost client outreach, according to FT.