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How Canada Is Taking the AI World By Storm

Updated: Sep 11, 2018

I had the pleasure to participate at last week’s Google Go North event in Toronto, which brought together the leaders from the business, technology and government worlds together to talk about the potential of AI to accelerate economic growth. Filled with presentations and lively debates, plus a Q&A between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, this year’s event really highlighted the role that Canada is playing in taking AI from conception to achieving real-world benefits.

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During the event, I joined the stage with Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Kerry Liu, founder of Rubikloud to discuss how AI can be applied to different industries such as retail and manufacturing. Kerry Liu spoke about how AI is helping retailers to unlock decades of data from their systems to improve promotion management, increase loyalty, personalize product development, and improve logistics and distribution. I outlined how manufacturers can utilize AI to optimize their operations processes, improve their energy consumption (and therefore reduce their carbon emissions) and to ultimately shift the dial, where manufacturers are currently only leveraging 1% of their operational data to improve their performance. Hon Bains reiterated the Prime Minister’s earlier remarks about how facilitating innovation and economic development, through policies and funding that supported attracting the right talent, collaboration and driving innovation, were key priorities for the federal government.

Reflecting back on the panel, one clear message has become apparent to me. That AI will not make people redundant but will actually help workers, governments and the everyday person on the street to make smarter decisions, now that they have the data and AI tools available to help them make sense of it. In a way –I see AI as Advancing Intelligence – because it takes seemingly unintelligible big data to solve real-world challenges.


Overall, Go North was an exciting day that showcased how Canada is leading the world in AI development and how start-ups, like Canvass Analytics, right up to big business and government, are contributing to innovation.


Google Canada filmed the entire event, which you can view here: https://goo.gl/BNuhka  To see the panel, skip to 2:31 hour mark.