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Toronto and the corridor that stretches west to Kitchener and Waterloo is already Canada's capital of finance and technology--and naturally, the region's leaders want to set an example for the rest of the world. That's part of the reason why in 2017, municipal organizations in Toronto tapped Google's sister company Sidewalk Labs to redevelop a disused waterfront industrial district as a high-tech prototype for the "smarter, greener, more inclusive cities" of tomorrow. But within three years the deal had collapsed, a victim of conflicting visions, public concerns over privacy and surveillance, and (to hear Sidewalk Labs tell it) pandemic-era economic change. Journalist Brian Barth, who trained in urban planning and spent seven years living and working in Toronto before returning to the US this summer, says the Sidewalk fiasco also symbolizes a larger difference: the contrast between Silicon Valley's hard-charging, individualist, libertarian ethos and a Canadian business style that emphasizes collaboration, respect, and social responsibility. In this edition of Deep Tech, Barth talks about the tensions that led to Sidewalk Labs' departure and the strategies Canadian CEOs are following to build a more open and inclusive tech sector. Toronto would like to be seen as the nice person's Silicon Valley, if that's not too much trouble, June 17, 2020 Wade Roush: Is Toronto like Silicon Valley for nice people?
The authors of the Harrisburg University study make explicit their desire to provide "a significant advantage for law enforcement agencies and other intelligence agencies to prevent crime" as a co-author and former NYPD police officer outlined in the original press release. At a time when the legitimacy of the carceral state, and policing in particular, is being challenged on fundamental grounds in the United States, there is high demand in law enforcement for research of this nature, research which erases historical violence and manufactures fear through the so-called prediction of criminality. Publishers and funding agencies serve a crucial role in feeding this ravenous maw by providing platforms and incentives for such research. The circulation of this work by a major publisher like Springer would represent a significant step towards the legitimation and application of repeatedly debunked, socially harmful research in the real world. To reiterate our demands, the review committee must publicly rescind the offer for publication of this specific study, along with an explanation of the criteria used to evaluate it. Springer must issue a statement condemning the use of criminal justice statistics to predict criminality and acknowledging their role in incentivizing such harmful scholarship in the past. Finally, all publishers must refrain from publishing similar studies in the future.
Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations.
Yann LeCun is Director of Facebook AI Research and Silver Professor at NYU, affiliated with the Courant Institute and the Center for Data Science. He received a PhD in Computer Science from Université P&M Curie (Paris). After a postdoc at the University of Toronto, he joined AT&T Bell Labs, and became head of Image Processing Research at AT&T Labs in 1996. He joined NYU in 2003 and Facebook in 2013. His current interests include AI, machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics, and computational neuroscience.
The first genuinely impressive AI assistant may well have a Canadian accent. Facebook announced today that it is tapping into Canada's impressive supply of artificial-intelligence talent and expertise by creating a major AI research center in Montreal. Several big recent advances in AI can be traced back to Canadian research labs, and Facebook is hoping that the new lab may help it take advantage of whatever comes next. The new center will focus, in particular, on an area of AI known as reinforcement learning (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017: Reinforcement Learning"). The center will seek to apply this and other novel approaches to language, with the aim of producing more coherent and useful virtual assistants, says Yann LeCun, director of AI research at Facebook.
Creative Capital is IT World Canada's series that examines the impact digital transformation is having to change the face of communities across Canada. We're doing deep dives looking at the major tech hubs on the leading edge of the 21st-century knowledge economy. Our first five stories will focus on York Regions, exploring the densest ICT hub in Canada, its verticals, startups, and the factors contributing to its success. When the federal government unveils its short-list in contention for the $950 million it has earmarked for innovation superclusters later this year, don't be surprised if a consortium from York Region is on it. Up to five superclusters will share the funding based on the merits of their proposals, with Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Minister Navdeep Bains saying the objective is to create Canada's own "Silicon Valley," and create good middle-class jobs.
Steve Irvine is the founder and CEO of Toronto-based Integrate.AI I recently made the decision to leave my executive role at Facebook Inc. in Silicon Valley to start a company, Integrate.AI, focused on applied artificial intelligence. Normally, this news would not raise an eyebrow in the valley. In fact, people in positions like mine often leave the comfortable confines of large tech companies to build their own startups in hot new areas, such as AI. However, there was a notable difference in my case – I chose to start my company in Toronto. A lot of people immediately assumed I had made the move strictly for personal reasons, as my wife and I are both Canadian.