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Canada’s AI Moment

By Geoffrey Hinton,  VP and Engineering Fellow at Google

April 3, 2017

A “vector” is a geometric object with two important properties: magnitude and direction.  These two attributes might also describe Canada’s AI sector today, as key investments and a sense of shared purpose fuel Canada’s amazing AI momentum. Deep learning is a new direction in AI research and this funding gives it, well, magnitude.

The Vector Institute

Today’s launch of the Vector Institute in Toronto - a research facility dedicated to expanding the applications of AI by performing cutting-edge explorations in deep learning and other forms of machine learning - is the product of provincial, federal and corporate funding, including a $5 million dollar commitment from Google. Once up and running, Vector will supply a large number of the highly skilled masters, doctoral  and postdoctoral scientists who are desperately needed by Canadian industry. The research generated at Vector will find application in fields as diverse as healthcare, financial services and advanced manufacturing.

Canada’s AI Supercluster

With the launch of the Vector Institute, Toronto joins Montreal as a world leader in both research and AI investment. In November, Google invested $4.5 million in Montreal’s MILA Institute, led by deep learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio. We also launched Google Brain Montreal, a team dedicated to basic research in the field. I’ve seen firsthand how research in Toronto and Montreal has contributed to major advances in speech recognition, image classification and machine translation. And pairing Canada’s research pedigree with an active startup community, incubators, government investment and large anchor companies that attract and retain talent, is key to solidifying this country’s reputation as a global AI supercluster.

Google Brain Toronto

An example of the investment and innovation coalescing around investment in Canadian AI research is today’s launch of Google Brain Toronto. Consisting of Canadian deep learning experts this team will focus on the biggest research challenges facing AI today. Google will continue contributing to Canada’s AI momentum by publishing our findings and helping researchers collaborate more easily by sharing code through our open-source TensorFlow library.

Between its funding of the Vector Institute and the launch of Google Brain Toronto, Google is committed to supporting Canada’s amazing AI moment.

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