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CIFAR names 29 researchers as Canada CIFAR AI Chairs at AICan meeting; attends G7 Conference on AI

by Krista Davidson
Dec 17 / 18
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Banner image courtesy of Pat Pinotti.

CIFAR announced the first cohort of researchers to the Canada CIFAR Artificial Intelligence Chairs (CCAI) program at AICan in Montreal on Dec. 3. The event brought together academic researchers and leaders, members of government and industry to inspire discussion and collaboration around AI research in Canada.

Parliamentary Secretary David Lametti of the Ministry of Innovation, Science & Economic Development joined CIFAR President & CEO Alan Bernstein, and Elissa Strome, Executive Director for the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, to kick off AICan with the announcement of the CCAI Chairs program, a $30 million funding investment that will keep Canada at the forefront of AI research.

The CCAI Chairs were named as part of the $125 million Pan-Canadian AI Strategy which aims to maintain Canada’s leadership in AI research, and attract and retain academic talent. About half of the chairs are taking up their first faculty positions in Canada, having received training from all over the world, including the US, China, Iran and France. The CCAI Chairs were nominated by one of CIFAR’s three national AI Institutes: Amii (Edmonton), Mila (Montreal) and the Vector Institute (Toronto). The CCAI program will foster new AI research in such areas as natural language processing, image recognition, reinforcement learning, cryptography and more.

CIFAR also participated in the G7 Multistakeholder Conference on Artificial Intelligence on Dec. 6 in Montreal. Led by Minister Navdeep Bains, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the conference brought together industry, research institutions and civil society stakeholders to discuss the implications and opportunities of AI development and adoption.

In 2017, CIFAR was chosen by the federal government to lead the $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy in collaboration with the three artificial intelligence research centres.

Thanks to our world-first national AI strategy, Canada is a global leader in this game-changing technology. Our government will continue to support CIFAR as it helps Canada grow into an international AI hub, creating more jobs and economic growth as a result.

“Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more valuable to Canadians every day. Doctors use it to diagnose cancer. Musicians use it to write songs. Space scientists use it to search for alien life. And thanks to our world-first national AI strategy, Canada is a global leader in this game-changing technology. Our government will continue to support CIFAR as it helps Canada grow into an international AI hub, creating more jobs and economic growth as a result,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development.