Episode 23: How does Canada’s NRC support artificial intelligence?

Updated: Mar 5

The Ask AI interview with Dr. Carolyn Watters, Chief Digital Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada


Special thanks to Microsoft Canada and Cinchy for sponsoring the third series of the Ask AI podcast and supporting greater awareness of artificial intelligence in Canada. All of our episodes and 100s of AI profiles are also available from our chatbot, generously sponsored by Toronto’s Ada Support.

Dr. Carolyn Watters joined the NRC in February 2019 as the organization's inaugural Chief Digital Research Officer where she has oversight of the Digital Technologies Research Centre, one of the 14 research centres which form Canada’s National Research Council.

The DTRC has a focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, bio analytics as well as research into ethical AI and open data.


Carolyn is a full professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, specializing in human-to-computer engagement in information spaces ranging from documents to social media. Dr. Watters is also a founding member of CALDO, a consortium of Canadian and Latin American research universities and is strongly committed to improving gender and diversity in STEM.


Tune in to this episode of the Ask AI podcast and learn how Dr. Carolyn Watters, Chief Digital Research Officer and Head of the Digital Technologies Research Centre at Canada’s National Research Council is working to support scientific discovery and business innovation in Canada, including pioneering work in machine learning, computer vision, and ethical AI.


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Episode highlights


Learn how Dr. Watters got her start in artificial intelligence

Learn how the Digital Technologies Research Centre fits into the wider NRC ecosystem

Learn how the NRC is doing research into computer vision for healthcare

Learn how the NRC is helping computing systems prepare for the age of quantum computing

Learn how the NRC is using NLP to support indigenous language revitalisation

Learn how the NRC is supporting research into human-AI interaction

Learn how the NRC collaborates with Canada’s universities and provinces


Episode links

NRC website

NRC on Twitter

NRC on LinkedIn

NRC’s Digital Technologies Research Centre website

NRC Artificial Intelligence for Design Challenge program

NRC IRAP Innovation Assistance Program

Scale AI Supercluster website

Digital Technology Supercluster website

Montreal Declaration for responsible AI

Federal directive on automated decision-making

CALDO Consortium

Episode credits

Sponsors: Microsoft Canada and Cinchy Chatbot partner: Ada Support Executive Producer: Chris McLellan Host: Jaxson Khan Assistant Producers: Oleena Mak and Kristin Riddell Original music: Mike LeTourneau

About Ask AI

Ask AI is a volunteer project exploring the fast-emerging artificial intelligence sector in Canada and beyond.Our projects include a popular podcast and live events. To learn more about sponsorship and volunteering please contact us or ask our chatbot.

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