• Chris McLellan

Canadian AI News - October 2021

Updated: Oct 31, 2021



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


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ENVIRONMENT & CLEANTECH


MONTREAL - A team of AI researchers at Mila, including Sasha Luccioni, Victor Schmidt and Alex Hernandez-Garcia, has launched "This Climate Does Not Exist", an initiative of Mila's AI for Humanity branch. The project uses generative adversarial networks, or GANs, a technology pioneered at Montreal's Mila, to generate highly realistic images that let people see the potential impact of climate change on any address, anywhere on the planet. Full story


ALBERTA - Alberta Innovates has announced a new round of funding under its Digital Innovation in Clean Energy (DICE) program to fund the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, industrial IoT, augmented reality, and unmanned aerial vehicle technologies for use in Canada’s energy industry. “Response to our first funding call was impressive and shows how extensive the expertise is, and how fast Albertans can bring globally relevant ideas and solutions to market,” said Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates. Full story


VANCOUVER - Tim Hortons is piloting artificial intelligence-assisted technology at select restaurants across Canada with the goals of providing recycling and composting education for guests and driving increased recycling and diversion rates. The project, a partnership with Vancouver-based Intuitive AI, will include waste bins at 12 restaurants equipped with a screen and product image recognition technology. Full story


GLOBAL - New AI analysis of 100,000 previous scientific studies has revealed the true scale of the climate change problem facing Earth. The paper, published in Nature Climate Change, shows scientific evidence that climate impacts are affecting at least 85% of the world population in 80% of the world’s land area. Full story


SOCIAL & GOVERNANCE


NEW PODCAST - The Ask AI podcast published an interview with Anna Kazantseva, Research Officer for Indigenous Language Technologies at the National Research Council of Canada and asked the question: Can AI help us preserve indigenous languages? Episode post


ALBERTA - A team from the Univesity of Alberta, including Jessica Li, a master’s student in computational psychiatry, has won a national STEM Fellowship Big Data competition. The team participated in a two-month-long competition along with teammates Kevin Zhan, Rafay Osmani, and Xiaoyu Wang. The STEM Fellowship Big Data competition tasked the participants with finding a solution to the spread of misinformation on social media. Full story


BRITISH COLUMBIA - The Athena Pathways project is helping more Canadian women see the potential of the tech sector, and how a career in AI aligns with their skills and interests. This project also supports Canadian tech companies to fill job vacancies and, in turn, become more competitive while addressing the gender gap in AI.  Full story.


TORONTO - The new Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University is has decided that every one of its more than 300 first- and second-year law students learn about coding, design thinking, product development and entrepreneurship through four mandatory courses on legal technology. "We discussed what is unique to Ryerson and how we're going address underrepresented needs," says associate professor Sari Graben. Full story


AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES


VANCOUVER - OneCup AI’s Bovine Expert Tracking and Surveillance, or BETSY for short, uses facial recognition to first identify livestock, then monitor them. “After she identifies those animals, she begins to track a number of different things about those animals for health monitoring, movement tracking, and just some overall metrics based on your herd,” says Mokah Shmiegelsky, CEO. Full story


HEALTHCARE & PHARMA


OTTAWA - Health Canada has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to identify ten guiding principles of Good Machine Learning Practice (GMLP) to help promote safe, effective and high-quality medical devices that use artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). Full story


TORONTO - Vector Institute faculty member Bo Wang has helped determine a set of mortality predictors for long-term care (LTC) residents with COVID-19. Wang and his team at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre collaborated with researchers at ICES (formerly the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) to look at de-identified health data for more than 60,000 Ontario LTC residents who had been given COVID tests during the first and second waves of the pandemic. Full story


TORONTO - Focal Healthcare, a startup focused on image-guided prostate cancer technology, has developed an AI-based 3D ultrasound imaging platform. "Focal looks forward to enhancing the medical care for remote communities and long-term care facilities by merging point of care smart 3D ultrasound technology with telehealth," said Chicuong La (PhD), CEO. The technology will be used at the patient's bedside to image joints, organs and blood vessels. Full story


AV, IoT, & ROBOTICS


WATERLOO -- Descartes Systems Group has unveiled artificial intelligence (AI)- and machine learning (ML)-based enhancements to its Routing Mobile & Telematics suite. “Descartes has a long history of innovation, including robotic process automation for standardization and automation of route planning processes, elastic cloud optimization to scale for large fleet operations and same-day route optimization to dynamically promise time-definite same-day deliveries,” said Sergio Torres, Senior Vice President at Descartes. Full story


CANADA - BlackBerry has announced coming updates to its Guard 2.0 managed detection and response service, as well as a partnership with Google and Qualcomm to develop next-generation vehicle cockpits. The changes to BlackBerry Guard will include incorporating the technology of BlackBerry’s Cylance artificial intelligence platform to give better mobile threat defense as well as user behavior risk analytics and network analytics. Full story


BUSINESS


NEW PODCAST - Ask AI podcast host Melissa Kargiannakis sat down with Matthew Reyes, Co-founder, Hypotenuse Labs, and asked the question: How does an AI consultancy work? Episode post


CANADA - The $230-billion information and communications industry in Canada is partnering up with a global non-profit that finds jobs for refugees, particularly those from countries like Afghanistan, Lebanon and Jordan. Under the deal, TECHNATION, a Canadian technology industry association, will be working with Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB), a global non-profit. Full story.


TORONTO - Scotiabank has announced it will move customer data onto Google Cloud, using its advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to develop predictive offers, improve customer interactions and remove data silos across its global network. "This transformation will undoubtedly improve the customer experience and the bank’s efficiency globally” said Grace Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer, Scotiabank. Full story


TORONTO - Intuit Canada and Highline Beta today announced the launch of the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator: AI. The new five-month program aims to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to advance the financial prosperity of consumers and businesses in North America. Full story


PUBLIC SECTOR / PPP


CANADA - Canada is preparing the opening of its pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai, ‘The Future in Mind’ will highlight the leadership of Canada in many sectors, including artificial intelligence, robotics, education, digitisation, telemedicine, clean technology, agriculture, health sciences and aerospace. "Sustainability is at the center of Canada’s approach to the COVID‑19 economic recovery.” said Jean‑Philippe Linteau, Consul General of Canada in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Full story


CANADA - Radical Ventures has released new report exploring the latest data and developments in talent, industry and policy with exclusive insights from the leadership teams at Canada’s AI research institutes. Full story


STAY UP TO DATE

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