How Canada has emerged as a leader in artificial intelligence

Michael Smith, University Affairs, Dec 07, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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The question of 'how' is pretty easily answered: we invested in reserach. "This past spring, Ottawa might have made its best bet yet with the $125 million it has set aside over the next five years for a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. That money will go to three academic centres: the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII) in Edmonton, and the new Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, based in Toronto. ... the Quebec government has allocated $100 million to its AI community in Montreal; Ontario has set aside $50 million for Vector; and, in September 2016, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund gave $93.6 million to a trio of universities – Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal." In response, we've seen investments from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. There's no shortcut, and you can't do it on the cheap. And if we waited for the private sector to take the lead on this, we'd still be waiting.

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