Artificial intelligence, or AI, is one of the world’s most exciting burgeoning technologies. Though the AI systems produced today and in the near future won’t be the sentient entities seen in science fiction, they still stand to produce considerable benefits for many industries – and Canada aims to be at the forefront of development.
According to University Affairs, leaders in cities like Toronto, Edmonton and Montreal, as well as the Canadian federal government, allocated considerable financial resources toward AI development and testing facilities throughout 2017. Robotics and AI research in the country date back more than 30 years, however.
Specifically, Quebec set aside $100 million and Ontario put $50 million toward various projects in this vein, while federal officials declared the government would spend $125 million in the next five years on a nationwide AI initiative.
Additionally, the nonprofit Canada First Research Excellence Fund awarded about $94 million to three Montreal universities in celebration of their AI research. Multinational tech companies, including Microsoft and Google, have gotten wind of all this, and begun preliminary budgeting and planning for AI research efforts in Canada.
The news provider reported that prominent areas of focus in these various campaigns will include the development of more sophisticated voice-controlled systems, tools for DNA sequencing and genomic therapies, driverless vehicles, and robotically automated providers of financial and legal advice.
All of these developments give further credence to Canada’s status as a region of rapidly rising importance in the tech field. According to the Waterloo Region Record, the Waterloo municipality in southwestern Ontario constitutes the second fastest-growing market for tech talent in all of North America.