Artificial intelligence (AI) is a global phenomenon. Today, the technology is assisting humans to do many things including writing novels. The next time you send your CV out for that job application, be sure a bot will scrutinize it to ascertain your suitability for the job. However, if there is to come another groundbreaking application for AI, be not surprised if the ideas comes from Canada.
Canada is home to significant breakthroughs in the field of AI. Notably, the country hosts three of the most prolific AI hubs in the world. The Edmonton AI cluster hosts the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII). Run by the University of Alberta, AMII is responsible for some of the most cutting-edge AI research in the world.
Montreal is another AI hub. The region boasts of the world’s highest number of AI researchers and students. Notably, this population of AI enthusiasts focus specifically on deep learning and other AI related disciplines. The Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) define the significance of Montreal as an AI hub. The Toronto region makes up the third AI hub in Canada. Waterloo and Vancouver are also busy setting up research labs and education centers focused on AI.
The significance of Canada’s AI scene is manifest in the interest from global tech giants. In September 2018, Uber pledged $150 million to set up a branch of Advanced Technologies Group in Toronto. The company facilitates Uber’s research into self-driving vehicles. On the other hand, Google is working with MILA since 2016 in a deal worth $4.5 million to conduct research in deep learning.
Funding and training paint a rosy outlook of AI in Canada
Canada has the talent, the money, and the resolve to become a world leader in AI. In terms of money, many AI startups in the country are getting huge support from venture capitalists. Just a month ago, Stradigi AI received massive financing support totaling to $53 million CAD from Holdun Family Office, Fonds and Investissement Québec, and the company’s cofounders. Notably, the company intends to use the money to expand its operations in North America. Stradigi AI created Kepler, an AI-based software platform that makes work easier for data scientists and business analysts.
Additionally, Canada’s AI sector could take a pivotal role in fighting payment fraud in future. MindBridge Analytics, an AI-based FinTech company, is working on an AI solution to detect abnormalities in payment transactions. Particularly, the company hopes that the solution will complement the existing transactions monitoring systems to ensure more security.
Besides funding, Canada’s AI startups have access to training opportunities aimed at growing their capacities to tackle day-to-day problems with the help of AI. On Monday December 23, 2019, BlackBerry and L-SPARK announced that they would offer one-on-one training to selected startups. The startups selected for the accelerator program are those focusing on vehicle-connected software services.
Preteckt is one of those startups. The startup offers software solutions focused on predicting vehicle breakdown by monitoring progressive damage. Notably, sensors are used for the monitoring process. The sensors generate raw data whose analysis gives insights that are useful in decreasing maintenance costs while increasing the uptime of a fleet.