The Government of Canada is funding a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy for research and talent in an effort to cement Canada’s position as a global player in AI.
Announced through the federal budget released this week, the $125 million strategy will aim to attract and retain academic talent in Canada, increase the number of researchers studying artificial intelligence, and promote collaboration between Canada’s hubs of expertise. The program will be administered through CIFAR, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
“The Canadian government clearly recognizes the importance of artificial intelligence as a platform technology that cuts across many areas of innovation today,” says Dr. Alan Bernstein, President and CEO of CIFAR. “This investment in deep AI builds on Canada’s strength as a pioneer in AI research and will provide a strong foundation for Canada to build on its global leadership in this important and exciting field.”
The market for artificial intelligence-related products is predicted to reach $47 billion in 2020, and the field has attracted significant investment from Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other major technology players.
Researchers in the CIFAR program have made fundamental advances in artificial intelligence. The deep AI techniques they developed make computers better at seeing patterns and making accurate predictions based on those patterns, using so-called artificial neural networks, in a way analogous to how we think humans learn.
“Canada’s scientific success in deep AI is an example of how investments in fundamental research can result in enormous potential for innovation,” Bernstein said. “Deep AI is a platform technology that cuts across virtually all sectors of the economy, with the potential to improve people’s lives.”