Meet Canada, the Queen of AI
(As featured in Ross Intelligence- April 17, 2017)
Written by: Ava Chisling
It’s not often big business, government, non-profits and universities agree on anything, but when it comes to Canada being THE place for AI research and development, everyone is on board, including ROSS Intelligence.
The news seemed to arrive all at once, even though Canada has long been at the forefront of technology, from Vancouver’s film studios to Montreal’s world-class animation talent. But in the past few months, things were different. Everyone seemed to come together (a rarity) and as a group, all parties were thinking ahead (another rarity): academia, government, non-profit organizations and businesses all came out in strong support of artificial intelligence research and development.
The announcements were made in relatively quick succession: A new federal budget would provide $125 million to improve Canada’s competitive and strategic advantage in AI. The University of Toronto’s Vector Institute would hire roughly 25 new faculty and research scientists devoted to the field of artificial intelligence. The Quebec government agreed to invest $50M on AI this year, and another $50M by 2022, and at the same time, ROSS Intelligence announced it will open ROSS North in Toronto, partnering with the brightest minds in AI and technology. All of this in addition to the big players already committed to setting up shop in Canada. Let’s try to sort out why this country is such a hot spot for AI.
“Deep learning is the cause of the AI renaissance and Canada was one of the only places that would fund deep learning research,” says Jimoh Ovbiagele, Co-founder and CTO at ROSS Intelligence. “When deep learning broke through many of the obstacles that held it back, Canadian universities like the University of Toronto were the only places with experts in the field and with undergraduate and graduate programs that taught the subject.”