Mike Krieger, Instagram co-founder, is on the hunt for “recovering quants” as he plans to double the firms engineering staff in New York this year to 150 people. In particular, it is looking for machine-learning experts, many of whom work for hedge funds or investment banks.
Most of Instagram’s New York-based engineers will be experts in machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn from enormous data sets with minimal human input. Machine-learning and personalization are at the heart of some of Instagram’s top projects, such as a change to its feed a year ago that replaced its reverse-chronological feed with a ranked feed, reordered with posts Instagram predicted users would find interesting at the top. Facebook has had a ranked feed since 2006. Instagram also uses machine learning to assemble its “Top Live” feature,