Canadian AI sector developing growing reputation as world leader

Three years on from the launch of Canada's first ever national AI strategy, we look at what progress has been made and what it means for IT professionals.

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CIFAR

Ever since the launch of the Pan-Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) Strategy in 2017 – the first ever national AI strategy – Canada has been the focus of sustained attention from the academic, IT and business communities.  So, what are the key objectives of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy?  What progress has been made to date?  What is the long-term potential for Canada to develop as a globally significant centre of expertise in AI?  And how best can IT professionals contribute to this ongoing development?

National AI strategy

Founded in 2017, the pioneering CIFAR Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy (CIFAR) works in partnership with the country's three national AI Institutes - Amii in Alberta, Mila in Montréal, and the Vector Institute in Toronto - to achieve four key objectives. Firstly, to increase the number of ‘outstanding’ artificial intelligence researchers and skilled graduates in Canada. Secondly, to establish interconnected ‘nodes of scientific excellence’ in the country’s three major centres for artificial intelligence in Edmonton, Montréal and Toronto. Thirdly, to develop ‘global thought leadership’ on the economic, ethical, policy and legal implications of advances in AI; and, fourthly, to support a national research community on artificial intelligence. As Elissa Strome, AVP Research and Executive Director - Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, explains, since its establishment three years ago, CIFAR has ‘already made great progress towards its objectives.’

“The AI Institutes are all thriving hubs of their respective AI ecosystems, and there is a great deal of collaboration, exchange and training happening across all three Institutes,” she says. 

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