Artificial Intelligence in Canada
Canada is home to two large Artificial Intelligence (AI) hubs, located in Montréal and Toronto. These hubs are an attractive place for companies and startups working in the AI field, thanks to the huge amount of talent and opportunity available.
The Canadian government is investing heavily in AI-related projects in the health, security, and financial sectors. This investment is further solidifying Canada’s position as a prime destination for technology businesses, making Canada an attractive place for foreign companies and startups alike to do business.
Why Canada is a Hub for AI Research
There are a number of companies of note that are researching AI in Canada. Much of this activity is because of the level of computer science programs at Canadian Universities, which has brought the best and brightest minds into the field.
The University of Toronto has been ranked as 9th in the world for Computer Science and Engineering Programs. Montreal is not far behind, and there are a total of 15 post-secondary institutions that offer Computer Science and IT degrees and courses in Quebec. Thanks to these universities, students have the foundation of machine learning, as well as Computer Science, to be able to contribute to the research and development of AI.
Another reason why Canada is such a hub for AI research is because of the amount of interest and support these projects generate. Large companies have made announcements in recent years, promising investments into the Canadian economy. In 2018, Uber announced plans open an engineering office in Toronto focused on their self-driving car technology, which would invest more than $200-million into the city over five years. NVIDIA also plans to open an AI research facility to explore deep learning, headed up by Sanja Fidler, a University of Toronto assistant professor.
Finally, many immigrants cite Canada’s quality of life as a reason to make the country their home. The diversity, public health care, and education system are appealing, and it allows Canada to attract the top talent.
Canadian AI Companies
In particular, Mila, located in Quebec, boasts a community of more than 500 researchers. University students compete for Requests for Supervision at the company, so that they can learn from the best and brightest in the AI field.
Mila has the largest concentration of university researchers in Deep Learning in one place, allowing those who are interested in AI to gain the knowledge and experience required in a collaborative environment.
Toronto is another hub for AI companies, and has the highest concentration of AI startups in the world. One such company is Ross Intelligence, which helps augment lawyers’ cognitive abilities through AI driven products. The startup was formed by two computer scientists out of the University of Toronto, who wanted to make legal services more accessible. Today, they serve thousands of lawyers, and practice in San Francisco and Toronto.
Canadian Investment in AI
The Canadian government understands that AI technologies will serve Canadians and the rest of the globe. It can be a “game changer” across multiple industries, guiding the technology for everything from self-driving cars to patient diagnosis.
They also understand that there should be clear guidelines in AI research, and they ensure that government programs and services are “governed by clear values, ethics, and laws.”