Canadian AI News - September 2021
Updated: Oct 21, 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 monthly newsletter and by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
We make an effort to include the LinkedIn profiles of key participants in these stories, and that's no accident. A collaborative sector is a healthier and more resilient sector. Canadians working in AI should make every effort to connect.
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ENVIRONMENT & CLEANTECH
WATERLOO - Chris Bauch, a professor of applied mathematics at the University of Waterloo, has created a deep learning algorithm that could be used to reveal climate change and act like an early warning system. It has been created to better predict the tipping points while also understanding what happens after they have been reached. Full story
VICTORIA - Pani Energy, a company that uses AI to reduce the energy consumption of water treatment processes, has secured a $2.8M deal with Abunayyan, a power and water solution company based in Saudi Arabia. "We estimate a global deployment of our technology would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 200 megatons annually, roughly the equivalent of taking 43 million cars off the road” said Devesh Bharadwaj, CEO of Pani. Full story
SOCIAL & GOVERNANCE
EDMONTON - Alberta Innovates has chosen the Community Safety & Wellness (CSW) Accelerator to recieve funding to provide artificial intelligence solutions that address community and social challenges. An Edmonton-based public-private group – comprising the Edmonton Police Foundation, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), the University of Alberta, Telus, ATB Financial and Motorola – partnered to submit the winning proposal. Full story
TORONTO - The Samara Centre, a non-partisan think tank, in partnership with Areto Labs, developed an artificial intelligence tool that uses machine learning to track toxic tweets received by political party leaders and incumbent candidates during the recent Canda's recent Fedral election. The research, which looked only at Twitter, found 7% of the tweets were "severely toxic," including hateful, aggressive comments or threats of violence against candidates or their families. Full story
TORONTO - Educational publisher Pearson Canada and Canadian edtech vendor Knowledgehook have announced a partnership designed to provide digital support for teachers and students to improve mathematics education in Canada. Knowledgehook offers an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled solution that connects a child’s in-school education to their at-home learning, providing real-time insights and remediation tools to teachers on student learning gaps. Full story
TORONTO - Alphabyte Solutions, a data analytics and consulting startup co-founded by University of Toronto alumni and data scientist Lyndon Chan, has created an online platform called Parlawatch that uses AI to boost engagement with federal politics by helping Canadians track parliamentary proceedings. Full story
AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES
QUEBEC - Quebec City-based XpertSea, an aquatech company that uses AI and financial services to connect shrimp farmers with a network of vetted buyers, has raised $25 million. “This investment will not only help accelerate the development of our data-driven solutions, but will allow us to leverage our unique capabilities to bring transparency and efficiency to the entire supply chain, getting us closer and closer to providing sustainable seafood for everyone,” said Valerie Robitaille, XpertSea’s CEO. Full story
VANCOUVER - Fobi AI Inc (FOBIF) has announced that it has entered into a $250K data consulting agreement with Canada’s Azincourt Energy to help develop a big data and operational intelligence platform related to the mining and exploration sector. Full story
EDMONTON - A new research project aims to help beef producers better interpret the production data they’re already collecting to make informed management decisions. The Arm-Chair Rancher mobile application, a collaboration between Livestock Gentec and David Wishart, professor of biology at the University of Alberta, will analyze data on production traits, genetics and economics to provide tailored recommendations to beef producers. Full story.
HEALTHCARE & PHARMA
ONTARIO - Health Gauge, a subsidiary of AI/ML Innovations Inc. has announced that it has undertaken a12-month pilot project with Trinity Western University. The collaboration will be spearheaded by Dr Anita Cote, a cardiovascular physiologist who holds a Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Adaptation to Exercise at TWU, and will investigate how personal health monitoring data may improve performance in selected sports. Full story
VANCOUVER: Cognetivity Neurosciences, a company that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to detect signs of cognitive impairment has announced that it has reached a commercial agreement with the healthcare firm KetamineOne to deploy its technology in clinics across North America. Dr Sina Habibi, CEO of Cognetivity, said, "This is a key step in our plans for commercial rollout across the US and Canadian healthcare markets and indeed throughout the world." Full story
WATERLOO - Hardit Singh, a15-year-old student from Waterloo, Ont., has impressed judges at a prestigious international science fair with his project: a telehealth platform that he hopes will make eye care cheaper and more accessible. His solution, Speculor, won second prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. It uses a portable imager to take photos of the eye and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to screen for disease. It costs about $300 — far less than the closest comparable medical device, a fundus camera, which can cost up to $5,000. Full story TORONTO - Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health want to build on the momentum by calling for Learning Health Systems (LHS) that support rapid learning and continuous improvement. In a recent white paper, Patrick Feng of the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) and Dalla Lana researchers Ross Upshur, Erica Di Ruggiero, Robert Reid, and Andrew Pinto discuss how such a system could be acheived. Full story TORONTO - Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) company EAIGLE Inc., a startup specializing in COVID-19 solution technology, has launched a new proof of vaccination platform to provide its existing five million monthly users with an additional layer of health and safety protection. "We recognize the growing need to protect workplaces and public spaces via a flexible and automated solution that is reliable, easy to implement, and scalable." said, Amir Hoss, EAIGLE CEO. Full story
TORONTO - AI startup LocateMotion Inc. has launched SenSights.AI, “Our focus is to find evidence based data for cognitive decline that results in falls, Alzheimer and Dementia related events like wandering, loss of memory, weight etc., as we age so that we can potentially reverse or delay it soon helping seniors age in place gracefully.” said Nauman Jaffar, Founder. Full story
AV & ROBOTICS
WATERLOO - Tim Hortons franchisee Anik Seth, has created a robot to take orders at the drive-thru. Seth is co-founder of a local artificial intelligence research group called HueX and has a family business of Tim Hortons franchises. Full story
WATERLOO - Ecopia AI, a leader in digital mapping, announced it has partnered with the province of Ontario and the city of Toronto to lay the foundation for a digital twin of the city of Toronto and is being made possible with the support of Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN). “The AV ecosystem demands a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date fundamental dataset of vector maps that provide a detailed digital representation of the physical world,” says Jon Lipinski, Ecopia AI president and cofounder. Full s
TORONTO - Deepspatial AI has announced that it has filed patent application for AI-driven retail management and planning technology. Key features include inventory optimization, e-commerce optimization, new location identification, customer personas, pricing recommendations, and trend prediction. Full story
TORONTO - Cohere, a provider of cutting-edge natural language processing (NLP) models has raised $40 million in series A financing led by Index Ventures with participation from Section 32, returning investor Radical Ventures and several global AI luminaries, including Turing Award winner Geoffrey Hinton, Fei-Fei Li, Pieter Abbeel, and Raquel Urtasun. Full story
MONTREAL - Gazelle AI has placed number 50 on the Globe and Mail’s 2021 list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies. Launched in 2017, Gazelle.ai is a business intelligence platform that uses proprietary artificial intelligence to forecast a company's likelihood to expand. Full story
TORONTO - BMO Financial Group continues to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in its operations with the recent announcement that it is partnering with Toronto-based startup Riskfuel Analytics. Riskfuel builds AI solutions to accelerate valuation and risk sensitivity calculations. Full story
TORONTO - Borealis AI has announced that its technology has been integrated into a retail banking offering, setting the stage for RBC to deliver next generation advice to clients. "The NOMI platform has been incredibly successful, and by applying deep learning techniques, we've built out next generation features that will elevate the offering for clients" said Kathryn Hume, Interim Head, Borealis AI. Full story
ONTARIO - Alykhan Kara, a student at Western University has launched a startup aiming to promote local businesses with the upcoming launch of a new online shopping platform. Shomigo is a digital marketplace designed to help small businesses broaden their customer base and help consumers buy local and share their finds with their friends. The company is founded by Ivey HBA. Full story
CANADA - CMC Microsystems has brought together 14 project founders from industry, academia and non-profit technology research organizations to support a five year, $700M program to accelerate high tech manufacturing in Canada. Called FABrIC, Fabrication of Integrated Components for the Internet’s Edge, the program expects to attract $480M in industrial R&D for outcomes in quantum comouting and advances AI/ML based research. Full story
PUBLIC SECTOR / PPP
TORONTO - The pension plan organization OMERS and the Vector Institute of Artificial Intelligence are partnering on a five-year strategic agreement. OMERS is the first pension plan firm to collaborate with Vector. The collaboration will build on AI progress already underway within the pension plan company. Full story
ALBERTA - The Alberta government is investing $5.6 million in a pilot program offering micro-credential courses it says will help Albertans move up in their careers or explore new opportunities. "From artificial intelligence to animation to specialized agriculture and more, micro-credential programs empower Albertans to quickly advance or pivot in their careers, said Demetrios Nicolaides, minister of advanced education, in a news release Monday. Full story.
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