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Canada can lead the world in AI (Artificial Intelligence)

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David Johnston, former Governor-General of Canada, wrote for the Globe and Mail that Canada can lead the way in building trust in AI.

He highlights that the nation was the first to launch a national AI strategy, led by CIFAR, who are exploring challenges such as setting AI policy.

Defining the nature of the global opportunity Tim Hutton’s Medium article provides a great overview of the many strategies now being developed across the world.

Canada has taken big steps to position the nation as a world leader notably funding a supercluster in Quebec, the Scale.ai initiative, that has a primary objective to boost economic development through faster adoption and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) to supply chain networks.

There is also a wealth of ongoing university research that could fuel many new commercializations, such as DeepMind, acquired by Google in 2014, opening a lab in Alberta. Ai guru Geoffrey Hinton, the “godfather of deep learning”, also works for Google and the University of Toronto, and similarly TD Bank acquired Layer6 to form the banks AI research lab. The co-founders Jordan Jacobs and Tomi Poutanen, are also founders of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

TechVibes wrote that Canada pushed the AI agenda in 2017. The article concludes with the hope to see Canadian AI startups moving away from creating generic AI-driven solutions to building specific industry solutions, and this provides a great context for showcasing the nation’s first startups emerging to prosecute the opportunity.

Element AI

Recently raising $200m CAD in funding, bringing their total funding to a whopping $340m, Element AI is seeking to bring AI capabilities to large enterprises who want to adopt the technology but lack the in-house skills.

This is delivered through advisory consulting services, with products developed for specific use cases cases such as building on enterprise identity management practices, utilizing AI to intelligently automate many of the associated manual functions, Knowledge Scout to enable manufacturers to analyze and optimize their production processes and Document Intelligence for retailers to more effectively find cost efficiencies across their supplier base.

MindBridge AI

Recently achieving the major accomplishment of recruiting Alex Benay, previously CIO for Canada, MindBridge AI is positioning itself for global growth and an upcoming IPO.

The company has defined a very specific use case that their AI can be applied to – Financial auditing. Their AI Auditor tool identifies unusual transactions by also looking at the monetary flows between accounts, all credits and all debits to identify potential issues.

Solutions are tailored for sectors like Government, where it can provide a powerful tool for Auditor General requirements and be applied for use cases such as the election finance office where it can accelerate candidate contribution and expense audits, and for Financial Services, where banks, capital markets, insurance, payments, and investment management firms can better understand the complex data sets they deal with to ensure regulatory compliance.

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