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RBC opening AI lab in Montreal, joining several tech giants

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Canada's largest bank is joining global tech giants in setting up a research lab in Montreal to take advantage of the city's growing artificial intelligence expertise.


Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada) in conversation with Shivon Zilis (Bloomberg Beta)

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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.


Generation AI: Canada's early start in artificial intelligence set it up to be today's global powerhouse

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This is the first instalment of Generation AI, a regular column that will explore innovations being made in the vast area of artificial intelligence, in which Canada is a top global player. It was a big news item for the startup community when Microsoft announced last week the acquisition of Maluuba – a Montreal-based deep learning research lab for natural language understanding, and the doubling of its AI campus there. But the reality is, an acquisition by a major player is quickly becoming old news in the artificial intelligence (AI) world (a term that is also applied to the disciplines of deep learning and machine learning). Maluuba was founded in 2011 by Sam Pasupalak and Kaheer Suleman after they graduated from University of Waterloo. "We went through a number of accelerator programs including Velocity and Communitech when we started," Pasupalak says.


RBC invests in machine learning through partnership with the University of Toronto

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TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2016 /CNW/ - RBC today announced two new initiatives in collaboration with the University of Toronto designed to ensure Canada remains a leading centre of development in machine learning and artificial intelligence. RBC Research in Machine Learning will be a state-of-the-art research practice working to push the boundaries of the science around machine learning. RBC is also partnering with the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, becoming a Founding Partner of the Lab's Machine Learning Initiative focused on artificial intelligence-enabled companies. "RBC Research in Machine Learning is part of our commitment to the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence in Canada," says Gabriel Woo, vice-president of innovation at RBC. "We are not only building our own capabilities, we're also big believers in creating jobs in this space to retain the amazing talent we have in Canada. RBC Research in Machine Learning will be housed at the Banting Institute at the University of Toronto, and will be headed up by successful inventor and entrepreneur Dr. Foteini Agrafioti.


Canada is North America's up-and-coming startup center

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Canada, with nine percent of the world's forests, is a land of plenty. As well as an enviable array of natural resources, Canada also boasts incredible support for entrepreneurs, both homegrown and international. Many household names, such as Slack, Hootsuite and Shopify -- which may be mistakenly considered as U.S. products -- hail from north of the border. This proves Canada is capable of delivering on startup success. And it's no surprise that startups excel in the country. Sure, there is less access to VC funding and the persuasive call of Canada's southern neighbor, but the Canadian government is working hard to build and keep successful startup ecosystems. There is a huge selection of government aid available to small businesses, some of which includes grants that don't have to be paid back.