There is a growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in Canada in various segments. AI has several applications in research, consumer electronics, health sector, autonomous vehicles as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. Canada continues to receive significant attention regarding its investments in the AI with several AI startups establishing with support from venture capitalists.
AI Startups continue to expand operations in Canada
The Canadian AI sector is popular for its public and private collegiate ecosystems. The ecosystems include private sector partnerships, venture capital, government funding, and University research initiatives. Most of the country’s AI activity centers around Toronto’s Vector Institute of AI, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII) and Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA). Some Canadian companies that have invested in AI include Kinaxis Inc. (OTCMKTS: KXSCF), BlackBerry (NYSE: BB) and Shopify (NYSE: SHOP).
AI startups have been raising funding to advance their operations. For instance, Charli AI a Vancouver based Ai startup recently raised $1.6 million from BDC Capital and Yaletown Venture Partners. The startup has released a chat-oriented product that aims at automating financial tasks for enterprises. The firm is offering its integration partners access to the solutions with market-wide releases expected in six months.
Call for A global policy to guide AI
With the industry growing fast Canadian authorities have sought to partner with France to draft a blueprint of what could be a guide for AI policy globally. In the past year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron have been advancing the idea of a Global Partnership for AI. There have been several transatlantic negotiations in recent months regarding the partnership. There are still several unsolved issues but negotiators hope by the end this year they will reach an agreement.
The aim is to develop a strong forum for monitoring and discussion policy implications of AI across the globe. Canada and France will “core” develop the plan but they will also invite other countries. This is according to Malik Ghallab the director emeritus of a French state robotics lab in Toulouse. According to the blueprint discussed already GPAI will have a ruling council that entails government ministers, and private as well as public experts. It will also receive support from centers of expertise in Montreal and Paris.
Catholic mendicant order calling for ethical approach in tech
Although the potential of AI is massive there is a call for policy and ethical principles to guide the industry. In recent years over 90 organizations across the globe have been calling ethical principles for AI. Recently Pope Francis called for discussions regarding moral principles guiding AI and warned that if misused AI could lead to acts of barbarism. One catholic group, Optic has been at the forefront of promoting ethical approach towards tech
Created in 2012 the group aims at ensuring emerging tech respect human dignity. Optic has worked with various experts including researchers in anthropology and sociology as well as theologian technologists. Part of the group’s work is to organize a private meeting for experts and tech leaders to discuss issues of emerging tech.