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Canadian Artificial Intelligence News - January 2021

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Welcome to the monthly Ask AI news roundup where we highlight the latest innovations, investments, and breakthroughs in the Canadian artificial intelligence sector. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to our podcast and monthly newsletter and by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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The Ask AI news roundup for January 2021
Canadian artificial intelligence news for January 2022


NOVA SCOTIA - A new citizen-science project called Listening Together which includes the Acadia First Nation, academic institutions, and bird watcgers is leveraging AI/ML technology identify and track avian migratory routes in Nova Scotia. Project founder John Kearney said the increasing availability of technology allows for a project that not only provides data, but also opens up greater opportunities for communities to participate directly in research. Full story

Canadian artificial intelligence news January 2022
The Canada warbler is listed as threatened

OTTAWA - 5G Energy has been awarded a contract a research and development defense contract by Public Works and Government Services Canada to supply a digital transformation platform to the Royal Canadian Navy that applies Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Edge Computing to dynamically optimize energy consumption and reduce carbon footprints. Full story

[Exclusive to Ask AI - Learn how AI can help make a positive impact in carbon-intensive industries from our interview with Mark Speaker, the Industry Solutions Executive for Microsoft Canada]

[Exclusive to Ask AI: Learn how the Life Cycle Management Lab at UBC Okanagan is exploring how AI/ML can help to mitigate catastrophic oil spills]


BRITISH COLUMBIA - Sara Child, a Kwagu'ł band member and professor in Indigenous education at North Island College in Courtenay, on the east coast of Vancouver Island and fellow researchers are working on innovative ways, including artificial intelligence and immersive technology, to revitalize Indigenous languages. According to estimates by the First People Cultural Council in B.C., there are only about 140 speakers fluent in Kwak'wala across more than a dozen First Nations. Full story

Caroline Running Wolf, a PhD student at UBC, is designing immersive technology to teach Kwak’wala
Caroline Running Wolf, a PhD student at UBC, is designing immersive technology to teach Kwak’wala

CANADA - A new Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum has found that opinions about AI vary depending on countries’ level of economic development. Majorities trust companies that use AI as much as other companies in nearly all emerging countries, most of all China (76%), Saudi Arabia (73%), and India (68%). In contrast, only about one-third in many high-income countries are as trusting of AI-powered companies, including Canada (34%), France (34%), the United States (35%), Great Britain (35%), and Australia (36%). Full report

MISSISSAUGA - A new report conducted by Schneider Electric and CNBC Catalyst that features case studies from IBM, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Oxford University, Singapore Management University, and Tata Power suggests that companies can reduce emissions by up to 19% through the adoption of digital tools based on Artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and 3-D modeling. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric said "The next decade will be the one where digital technology puts sustainability ambition into action. Full report

KINGSTON - Thomas Linder, a PhD in Sociology from Queen’s University has published a dissertation has identified dangers associated with AI-augmented 'Realtime Operations Centres' (RTOCs) in Niagara, York Region, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and more have become the go-to solution for Canadian police forces looking to “modernize” for the “digital age.” See thesis


ALBERTA - Robert Saik, serial entrepreneur, author and CEO of AGvisorPRO HAS donated $100,000 to Olds College to create a scholarship endowment fund supporting students from urban areas enrolled in the Agriculture Technology programs at Olds College. Saik stated' “Technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are a part of the future of agriculture. Olds College is helping students focus on the agricultural needs of tomorrow by placing technology inside the classroom and providing a hands-on learning environment on the Smart Farm.” Full story


TORONTO - Toronto’s BenchSci Analytics Inc. has raised US$50-million from investors as it expands its platform to make science research faster and cheaper. According to Liran Belenzon, CEO, BenchSci. “We're using breakthrough machine learning technology to shape the future of how life science companies conduct research, from identifying targets, to planning experiments, to determining clinical trial risks Full story

Liran Belenzon, CEO, BenchSci
Liran Belenzon, CEO, BenchSci

[Exclusive to Ask AI: Catch the Ask AI interview with Lawrence Richer, Vice-Dean, Clinical Research University of Alberta]

BRITISH COLUMBIA - A groundbreaking advance in detecting sepsis by using machine learning has been pioneered by researchers in the Hancock Lab and the department of microbiology and immunology at UBC. According to Arjun Baghela, a graduate student in the Hancock Lab who led the analysis; “People don’t know much about sepsis, but in 2020, the numbers of deaths from life-threatening sepsis are likely much higher than one in five, since pretty much everyone who has died from COVID-19 has actually died from sepsis.” Full story

WATERLOO - Researchers at the University of Waterloo have used AI to analyze tweets debating vaccination and climate change. Analyzing roughly 87 million tweets, researchers found sentiments around climate change to be uniform, but not so for vaccination. Full story

TORONTO - Dr. Amin Madani, a general surgeon with the Sprott Department of Surgery at the University Health Network in Toronto, has developed a prototype that uses artificial intelligence to guide surgeons during gallbladder surgery. He was researching the techniques and thought processes used by the most elite, highest-skilled surgeons, when a group of data and computer scientists suggested he could use artificial intelligence to mimic their minds. Full story

AI for gallbladder surgery
Dr. Amin Madani


WATERLOO - New research published by University of Waterloo doctoral candidate Brokoslaw Laschowski under supervisor Dr. John McPhee has developed robotic exoskeleton legs capable of autonomous control and decision making. “Although these devices are promising, we don’t yet really see wearable robots being used in the real world.” Full story


BRITISH COLUMBIA - Railtown AI Technologies has announced that Vivos Solutions, a provider of cloud data management solutions for educational institutions, has chosen Railtown's AI application to help monitor, analyze and prioritize its errors and issues in real time. “We are thrilled to be working with Vivos and assisting them in their mission to provide best in class data management solutions for education,” Railtown AI Technologies CEO Cory Brandolini said in a statement. Full story

GLOBAL - The latest ‘Global Insights Report’ from research firm Experien indicates that the adoption of Artificial intelligence among retailers is up 74%, climbing from 69 percent last year and machine learning is up 73%, climbing from 68% last year. These technologies assist retailers with optimizing customer experiences, forecasting, automating decisions, and inventory management. Full report

Canadian artificial intelligence news January 2022
Source: Experien Global Insights Report

[Exclusive to Ask AI:- Learn how Manal Siddiqui, CEO, and Pietro Gagliano, CVO, at Transitional Forms, the Toronto-based agency are creating immersive content for the Metaverse]


NEW BRUNSWICK - The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation has announced a suite of programs earlier this month devoted to accelerating AI applied research in the province with a goal of providing access to AI expertise, talent, and research for companies in Atlantic Canada. The total investment of $3.2-million in artificial intelligence will help industry partners progress through phases of AI maturity while accelerating ongoing applied AI research programs. Full story

CANADA - The Vector Institute has announced the launch of a machine learning (ML) program for stay-at-home caregivers and mothers on maternity leave. Developed and delivered by faculty and staff at the Vector Institute, the six-week Mothers and Machine Learning Course, running Winter 2022 from March 14 to April 20, aims to equip students with a baseline understanding of ML methods. Full story

MONTREAL - BDC has announced a new 3-year strategic partnership with Mila, the Quebec artificial intelligence institute. The goal of this partnership is to make added-value resources available to a cohort of BDC-backed companies from across Canada, which are actively developing artificial intelligence. According to Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO of BDC; "We are confident that Mila's resources, problem-solving approach and international reach will give participating businesses an edge in accelerating their growth." Full story


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