Canada’s AI Moment
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.
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.
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.
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.