Last week, Google announced the opening of a new artificial
intelligence lab in Toronto. Concurrently, it announced an
investment into the Vector Institute, a public-private institute
affiliated with the University of Toronto whose goal is to develop
and commercialize both AI talent and new concepts.
Wired and CBC both have detailed profiles covering
Google's announcement and the future of the Canadian artificial
Google's aim is to stay ahead of the hotly competitive
market for artificial intelligence talent and Toronto, like
Montreal, is internationally recognized as a hub for that
While Google is clearly jockeying for the 'inside track'
on the University of Toronto's top AI grads, the
re-establishment of Toronto as a leading artificial intelligence
hub should broadly benefit the startup community as a whole. As
research, ideas and talent move out of the laboratory setting and
begin to commercialize, a wide variety of benefits will likely be
seen across industry verticals. Indeed, well-known Ontario startups
are already using machine learning to revolutionize everything from
transportation to insurance to tax law.
The recent federal budget, which includes an AI strategy, is heavily invested
in this theory, and the resulting public and private investments
should help drive the development of the sector for years to come.
Hopefully Google's investments are the first of many
private-sector responses to Canada's innovation strategy.
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