In the push to global AI integration, Canada is a veritable force.
The Canadian AI storey starts in Montreal, Quebec with Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in AI research.
Bengio was interested in artificial neural networks and deep learning right since his graduate studies. Since 1993, he served as a faculty member at the Université de Montréal. He leads Mila (Montréal Institute for Learning Algorithms), which brings together researchers specializing in deep learning. He also co-directs the Learning in Machines & Brains project, which examines the link between AI and the brain, of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
In 2016, Bengio co-founded Element AI, a Montreal-based incubator, to develop an “AI ecosystem.” The AI pioneer believes that Canadian cities offer “the biggest concentration in the world” of academic researchers investigating deep learning. In its first year, Element AI raised a valiant $102 million from investors.
The Montreal-based incubator released a report and analysis this year of the global supply of AI researchers to understand the industry better.
On a global scale, there are 22,400 researchers, with the highest concentration of researchers in the U.S. China, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada followed closely behind.
With its growth in the academics, international accessibility, a culture of collaboration, startup ecosystem, and access to capital, Montreal is poised to be not just a national, but global hub for AI fanatics.
There is also great governmental support for AI research in Quebec. At the end of 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Liberal government’s investment of nearly $230 million for Supply Chains and Logistics Excellence AI (SCALE AI), a Montreal-based consortium of 78 companies and 40 enablers that boost research in applied AI.
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