Trudeau Announces New Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy

By: Laura Steiner

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited  Brampton’s Magna International facility to announce a new Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy.  The announcement was part of a post-budget tour.

The Liberal government will invest $125 million in an artificial Intelligence strategy as part of the 2017 budget. The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) will administer the new funding, which will connect the key research centres across the country.  They hope to create  “superclusters” for research, global talent, and firms operating in this field.

The Liberals feel the investment illustrates Canada’s readiness to see the benefits of artificial intelligence, and build an environment that will give the country a competitive advantage in this area.  “From smartphone applications to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence is changing the way we interact with each other, and our surroundings,” Brampton West MP Kamal Khera said.

Trudeau tweeted he was “geeking out” over Magna’s advanced manufacturing equipment.

Province of Ontario Opens Vector Institute

The province of Ontario meanwhile, announced its own investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Premier Kathleen Wynne officially opened the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.  “We will harness these cutting-edge technologies to improve everyday life in Ontario,” Wynne said.  The Province will contribute $50 million, with 30 private sector companies expected to invest $80 million.

The institute will hope to encourage more investment, retain and attract talent, as well provide other Ontario businesses with AI tools. The intention is to build the Toronto-Waterloo area into a technology corridor.