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AI training program for women launches in Edmonton

by Krista Davidson Feb 26 / 20

AI4Good Lab

CIFAR and the OSMO Foundation, in partnership with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), are proud to announce the expansion of the AI4Good Lab, with a pilot program to take place in Edmonton, Alta. The program in Edmonton will run from July 6 to July 17, 2020.

“CIFAR is proud to partner with OSMO and Amii to offer the AI4Good program outside of Montréal for the first time this summer, and are thrilled to bring it to the Edmonton ecosystem,” says Dr. Elissa Strome, interimVP research and executive director of the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy. “This program will enable Canadian undergraduate women, to receive training and mentorship, and develop the skills and expertise towards future careers in AI.   Participating in the AI4Good Program will empower them to use AI to address real challenges for a better world and support the development of technologies that are equitable and responsible”.

The AI4Good Lab promotes inclusive tech culture by empowering people in AI who identify as women. The program targets undergraduate students enrolled in STEM programs and provides them with innovative approaches to teaching and learning AI. Participants learn through a blend of lectures, workshops, and self-directed team projects. They also have the opportunity to network with tech startups and companies, and participate in a group AI4Good competition. 

The AI4Good Lab was founded by Canada CIFAR AI Chair Doina Precup (Mila, McGill University) and Angelique Manella (McGill) in 2017 to address the lack of diversity in AI research and industry. Each year, the AI4Good Lab in Montréal trains a cohort of 30 participants.  To date, 80 students have participated in the program.

Edmonton’s pilot program is open to students or recent graduates in Canada who identify as women. The program offers a subsidy to students to help offset any financial burden.  The application deadline for both the Montréal and Edmonton programs is February 28, 2020.  

“This partnership is a key step in expanding the AI4Good Lab across Canada to achieve our vision of increasing opportunities for underrepresented demographics and of using AI as a tool for social good. With Amii’s vast accomplishments in machine learning, they are the perfect partner to take the impact of the Lab to Alberta,” says Maya Marcus-Sells, executive director of the AI4Good Lab.

“We’re proud to be bringing AI4Good to Edmonton this summer,” says Cam Linke, CEO of Amii. “With its engaging technical content and strong focus on encouraging inclusion, this one-of-a-kind program moves us closer to our goal of continuing the growth of Canada’s highly-skilled and diverse AI ecosystem.”

The AI4Good National Training Program

The announcement supports one of the main objectives of the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, the world’s first national AI Strategy, to increase the number of outstanding researchers and skilled graduates in Canada.  The AI4Good Lab is part of CIFAR’s AI4Good National Training Program. Under the national program CIFAR is working with researchers, institutions and organizations to support training programs for the next generation of AI researchers at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, with a special focus on programs that advance equity, diversity and inclusion in AI, and deliver positive social impact.

About the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy

In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead a $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy.

CIFAR works in close collaboration with Canada’s three national AI Institutes - Amii in Alberta, Mila in Montréal, and Vector Institute in Toronto, as well as universities, hospitals and organizations across the country.

CIFAR’s leadership of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy is funded by the Government of Canada, with support from Facebook and the RBC Foundation.

About CIFAR

CIFAR is a Canadian-based global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 20 Nobel laureates and more than 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world's first national AI strategy.