Microsoft plans to significantly expand its Montreal research lab and has hired a renowned artificial intelligence expert, Geoffrey Gordon, to be the lab's new research director. The company said Wednesday that it hopes to double the size of Microsoft Research Montreal within the next two years, to as many as 75 technical experts. The expansion comes as Montreal is becoming a worldwide hub for groundbreaking work in the fields of machine learning and deep learning, which are core to AI advances. "Montreal is really one of the most exciting places in AI right now," said Jennifer Chayes, a technical fellow and managing director of Microsoft Research New England, New York City and Montreal. In a meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussed Microsoft's ongoing investment in Canada and the expansion of the Montreal lab, including Gordon's hiring.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is of great interest to the research world today, potentially driving innovative problem-solving. Both the federal and provincial governments have imagined this potential. The Ontario government has invested in the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a flagship of its development in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to make Ontario a source of high-quality professionals and to attract an industrial base of the information technology (IT) and the AI sectors. The Ministry of Research, Innovation & Science is also commissioning a report to develop a provincial strategy.
Suicide is the second most common cause of death in people between the ages of 10 and 19 in Canada. Despite the country's preventative efforts, the number of suicides continues to grow year after year. Existing efforts include increased funding for suicide research, new mental wellness educational programs, and human-assisted monitoring of national suicide statistics. Though these efforts provide an important foundation for preventing suicide in Canada, it's clear additional tactics are needed to save more lives. This is where the predictive and scalable capabilities of AI could offer assistance.
Suicide is the second most common cause of death in people between the ages of 10 and 19 in Canada. Despite the country's preventative efforts, the prevalence of suicide continues to grow year over year. Existing efforts include ramped up suicide research funding, the addition of new mental wellness educational programs, and human-assisted monitoring of national suicide statistics. Though these efforts provide an important foundation for preventing suicide in Canada, it's clear additional tactics are necessary to save more lives. This is where the predictive and scalable capabilities of AI could offer assistance.
This video clip is from the Creative Destruction Lab's third annual conference, "Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence", hosted at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management on October 26, 2017. The Creative Destruction Lab is a seed-stage program for massively-scalable, science-based companies. Graduates include companies such as Atomwise (San Francisco), Thalmic Labs (Waterloo), Deep Genomics (Toronto), Kyndi (Palo Alto), Nymi (Toronto), Automat (Montreal), Ada (Toronto), and Heuritech (Paris). This year, the program admitted 125 AI-oriented startups in Toronto and another 40 at other CDL locations across Canada. To our knowledge, this is the third year in a row that the CDL is home to the greatest concentration of AI startups of any program on Earth.
The question over what to do about biases and inequalities in the technology industry is not a new one. The number of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields has always been disproportionately less than men. What may be more perplexing is, why is it getting worse? It's 2017, and yet according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in a review of more than 380 studies from academic journals, corporations, and government sources, there is a major employment gap for women in computing and engineering. North America, as home to leading centres of innovation and technology, is one of the worst offenders.