The investment will put the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) in charge of bolstering the country’s resources in AI.
The institute will use the money to increase the number of post-graduate trainees and researchers studying artificial intelligence, and promote collaboration between the country’s major technology research universities in Montreal, Toronto-Waterloo, and Edmonton.
“The Canadian government clearly recognizes the importance of artificial intelligence,” said Dr. Alan Bernstein, President and CEO of CIFAR. “It will help build a stronger and more innovative economy, create high value jobs, improve transportation, and lead to better and more efficient healthcare and social services.”
The market for artificial intelligence-related products is predicted to reach US$47 billion in 2020, but the industry is dominated by deep-pocketed technology firms such as Google, Facebook, and the Chinese search engine giant Baidu.
“This announcement keeps Canada in the forefront of the technology, and gives us a chance to steer its direction and take full advantage of its benefits,” Bernstein added.
The institute claims Canada already has made ‘fundamental advances’ in artificial intelligence, saying some of the applications developed by its researchers has helped the global healthcare industry.
Canada has urged the institute to focus on training graduate students in artificial intelligence. It believes that Canadian businesses can succeed in this new market, once the the critical mass of talent is created.
The government is expected to add another CAD$35 million to the fund over the next five years.