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CIFAR expands Canada CIFAR AI Chairs Program to 46

by Krista Davidson Apr 7 / 19

CIFAR is pleased to announce the expansion of its Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program from 29, appointed in December 2018, to 46.

The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program provides researchers with long-term, dedicated research funding to support their research programs and help them to train the next generation of AI leaders. Each of the chairs will receive up to $1 million in funding to support research excellence in machine learning.

The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program advances CIFAR’s mission to increase the number of outstanding artificial intelligence researchers and skilled graduates in Canada, and to enhance Canada’s international profile in AI research and training.

“On behalf of Canada and CIFAR, I wish to congratulate each of the Canada CIFAR AI Chairs on this prestigious appointment. The expansion of the program to 46, with more to come, is a testament to Canada’s deep investment in AI research excellence and training,” says Elissa Strome, Executive Director, CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, CIFAR.

Keeping AI talent in Canada

The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program will attract and retain the best AI talent to Canada. Of the 46 chairs named, 24 have been recruited to Canada and are taking up their first faculty positions. The remaining 22 researchers will continue to pursue AI research in Canada. The program also includes 9 women. The 17 additional Canada CIFAR AI Chairs are pioneering unique research in many interdisciplinary areas, including the use of AI for materials discovery, AI for social impact and deep learning tools for generating music and art.

Graham Taylor is one of the Canada CIFAR AI Chairs announced on April 8. He is a faculty member with the Vector Institute and an associate professor with the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering.

“I'm honoured and excited about my Canada CIFAR AI Chair appointment. CIFAR changed the trajectory of my research career when I was selected as one of the inaugural CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars in 2016. To be part of the Learning in Machines & Brains program meant that I was instantly connected to my research heroes,” says Taylor. “I will leverage the Canada CIFAR AI Chair to build innovative and responsible AI systems to solve problems that are important to society. CIFAR will continue to help me gain inspiration for improving AI systems and widen the scope of their application.”

Cornerstone of the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy

In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs Program is a cornerstone of the Strategy. The 46 Canada CIFAR AI Chairs are named in partnership with Canada’s three centres of AI excellence: Amii (Edmonton), Mila (Quebec) and Vector Institute (Toronto), as well as twelve universities and hospitals across the country.

Canada CIFAR AI Chairs undergo a rigorous review process. Nominations are made by Amii, Mila and Vector Institute and are reviewed by an International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC), a group of prestigious international researchers. The ISAC makes recommendations to CIFAR’s Board of Directors before a decision is made.

More information on the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy and the full list of Canada CIFAR AI Chairs is available here.