Canadian AI News - October 2021

Updated: Oct 31



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.