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  • Writer's pictureChris McLellan

Episode 16: How does Next AI support Canadian startups like Private AI?

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

The Ask AI interview with Joe Canavan, CEO Next Canada, and Patricia Thaine, CEO of Private AI

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.

The Canadian startup landscape contains a whole series of terms that are unfamiliar to most people. Tell someone that you “work out of an incubator” and they could be forgiven for thinking that you’re some kind of pediatric healthcare professional.

But incubators, innovation hubs, accelerators, startup bootcamps, and technology labs are all essential parts of an ecosystem that has been created to manage the specific risks faced by Canadian startups at different stages of their growth.

Artificial intelligence is of course a highly-specialized sector which not only carries technical and commercial risk but unique ethical challenges, and so what we’ve seen is the emergence of a specialized ecosystem in Canada to support its specific needs. Organizations such as Toronto’s Next AI and Vector Institute, Montreal’s MILA, and Edmonton’s AMII all fit into this category.

Check out this Ask AI interview featuring Joe Canavan, CEO of Next AI, one of Canada’s premier accelerators, and Patricia Thaine, CEO of Private AI (and member of the Next AI program) that’s using AI to make leading-edge privacy tools easier for developers to incorporate into their product designs.

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Episode highlights

Hear the origin story of the Next Canada accelerator

Learn how Next AI’s founder teams achieve such a low fail rate

Hear how Private AI combines homomorphic encryption, NLP, and speech processing

Learn Patricia balances life as an academic researcher, co-founder, and CEO

Learn why AI’s increasing “move to the edge” is exciting to Patricia

Learn how to apply to the (next) Next AI cohorts in Toronto and Montreal

Episode links

Next AI website

Private AI website

Patricia Thaine on LinkedIn

Vector Institute (supports Patricia’s AI research)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Why is Privacy-Preserving Natural Language Processing Important? (Private AI blog)

Homomorphic Encryption for Beginners: A Practical Guide (Private AI blog)

The hilarious YouTube clip Patricia mentioned on Scottish speakers and voice recognition

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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