$30 Million in funding announced today intended to keep Canada at forefront of cutting edge AI research
MONTREAL, Dec. 3, 2018 /CNW/ - The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) today announced the inaugural cohort of Canada CIFAR AI (CCAI) Chairs at AICan, the first annual meeting of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy. These top academic researchers are named as part of the $125 million Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, and will help maintain Canada's leadership in artificial intelligence research.
An important pillar of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, the Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program is designed to attract and retain more than 50 leading AI researchers. The Chairs are nominated by and will be affiliated with one of our three national AI Institutes: Amii (Edmonton), Mila (Montreal) and the Vector Institute (Toronto).
The first cohort of 29 chairs named below includes established experts as well as promising early-career researchers. The CCAI Chairs will form the research backbone of a robust and sustainable AI ecosystem that will help maintain Canada's leadership role in the development and application of machine learning.
In 2017 CIFAR was chosen by the federal government to lead the $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy in collaboration with artificial intelligence research centres in Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto. Support for the CCAI Chairs is one part of a larger strategy that includes training opportunities, research funding, and workshops on the societal implications of AI designed to build on Canadian leadership in artificial intelligence.
The CCAI Chairs were reviewed by an International Scientific Advisory Committee made up of scientific leaders from major institutions and companies around the world, including Google, DeepMind, Microsoft, Facebook, Stanford, Princeton, and the French National Center for Scientific Research.
About half of the chairs are taking up their first faculty positions in Canada, and received training all over the world, including in the US, China, Iran and France. They work on a wide variety of applied and theoretical topics, including natural language processing, image recognition, reinforcement learning, cryptography, convolutional networks and medical diagnosis.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said, "Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more valuable to Canadians every day. Doctors use it to diagnose cancer. Musicians use it to write songs. Space scientists use it to search for alien life. And thanks to our world-first national AI strategy, Canada is a global leader in this game-changing technology. Our government will continue to support CIFAR as it helps Canada grow into an international AI hub, creating more jobs and economic growth as a result."
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, said, "Our universities have been developing Canada's expertise in artificial Intelligence research for years with our government's support. That's why Canada's AI knowledge is far-reaching, our talent pool is deep and our research labs are world-class. I look forward to seeing how these new chairs will help keep Canada ahead of the pack, and I can't wait to hear about the exciting innovations they will develop for Canadians."
Elissa Strome, Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy at CIFAR, said, "We are delighted to launch the Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program with this announcement and the AICan event. This huge investment is yet another demonstration of our commitment to attracting and retaining the very best AI talent in Canada."
Alan Bernstein, President and CEO of CIFAR, said, "We are excited about these outstanding researchers taking up Canada CIFAR AI Chairs across the country. The Pan-Canadian AI Strategy has enabled us to retain those who laid the groundwork for AI and attract top scientists to Canada from abroad. This is a major step forward for Canada and an essential foundation for growing Canada's global leadership in AI research and innovation."
John Shillington, CEO of Amii, said "Amii is thrilled to be part of this historic announcement and to play a pivotal role in growing Canada's AI talent. Today's announcement is not only a signal that Canada remains a world-leading destination for AI but also that the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy is working."
Valerie Pisano, President and CEO of Mila, said, "Montréal's ecosystem is growing fast and these investments reinforce Montréal's role as world leader in research in deep learning and reinforcement learning."
Garth Gibson, President and CEO of the Vector Institute, said "The Chairs announced today are among the most promising researchers in the world and we are delighted by the opportunity to enable them to conduct research that will change the world and Canada with it."
Facts and Figures
- $307 Million committed to AI from 2017 to date from the governments of Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Canada.
- $125 Million Pan-Canadian AI Strategy
- 4 Pillars:
- CCAI Chairs program
- AI Institutes
- AI & Society program
- National AI program
- 29 chairs announced today
- Approximately $30 Million in funding
- 14 recruited, 15 retained
- 9 women
- 9 Universities across the country
CIFAR brings together outstanding researchers from across disciplines and borders to address important challenges facing the world. CIFAR supports leading edge research with the potential for global impact. In 2017, CIFAR was chosen by the Canadian government to lead the $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
Media Relations Specialist;
The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) is an Edmonton-based research lab that pushes the bounds of academic knowledge and guides business understanding of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Amii aims to advance scientific research, cultivate talent and enhance business so that it can build a thriving machine intelligence ecosystem in Alberta.
Manager, Communications & Public Relations;
The Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute (Mila) is a research lab that rallies researchers specializing in the field of deep learning. Recognized globally for its significant contributions to the field of deep learning, Mila has distinguished itself in the areas of language modelling, machine translation, object recognition and generative models.
Head, Communications and Media Relations;
The Vector Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation in Toronto dedicated to research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), excelling in machine and deep learning. The Vector Institute will drive excellence and leadership in Canada's knowledge, creation, and use of AI to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians.
Director, Communications & Engagement;
First cohort of CCAI Chairs
Amii - Edmonton
Angel Chang, Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University
Alona Fyshe, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta; CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, Program in Brain, Mind and Consciousness
Martha White, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
James Wright, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
Mila - Montreal
Marc Bellemare, Research Scientist, Google Brain; CIFAR Fellow, Program in Learning in Machines and Brains; Adjunct Professor, McGill University
Yoshua Bengio, Scientific Director, Mila; Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms; Professor, Université de Montréal; Co-Director, CIFAR Program in Learning in Machines and Brains
Jackie Cheung, Assistant Professor, McGill University
Aaron Courville, Associate Professor, Université de Montréal; CIFAR Fellow, Program in Learning in Machines and Brains
Simon Lacoste-Julien, Assistant Professor,Université de Montréal; CIFAR Fellow, Program in Learning in Machines and Brains
Hugo Larochelle, Research Scientist, Google Brain; Adjunct Professor, Université de Montréal; Associate Director, CIFAR Program in Learning in Machines and Brains
Ioannis Mitliagkis, Assistant Professor, Université de Montréal
Christopher Pal, Associate Professor, École Polytechnique de Montréal; Adjunct Professor, Université de Montréal; Principal Research Scientist, Element AI
Joelle Pineau, Associate Professor, McGill University; CIFAR Senior Fellow, Program in Learning in Machines and Brains; Research Scientist and Site Lead, Facebook AI Research, Montreal
Doina Precup, Associate Professor, McGill University; CIFAR Senior Fellow, Program in Learning in Machines and Brains; Associate Scientific Director, Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives CFREF; Research Team Lead, DeepMind, Montreal
Blake Richards, Faculty Associate, Vector Institute; Assistant Professor, McGill University CIFAR Fellow, Program in Learning in Machines and Brains
Reihaneh Rabbany, Assistant Professor, McGill University
Jian Tang, Assistant Professor, HEC Montréal
Pascal Vincent, Associate Professor, Université de Montréal; Research Scientist, Facebook AI Research, Montreal; CIFAR Associate Fellow, Program in Learning in Machines and Brains
Vector Institute - Toronto
Jimmy Ba, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Juan Felipe Carrasquilla, Assistant Professor (Adjunct), University of Waterloo
Murat Erdogdu, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Sanja Fidler, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Marzyeh Ghassemi, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Roger Grosse, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto; Canada Research Chair in Probabilistic Inference and Deep Learning
Alireza Makhzani, Faculty Member, Vector Institute
Quaid Morris, Professor, University of Toronto
Sara Mostafavi, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia; Canada Research Chair in Computational Biology; CIFAR Fellow, Child and Brain Development Program
Nicolas Papernot, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Frank Rudzicz, Scientist, University Health Network; Associate professor (status), University of Toronto; Associate Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael's Hospital
SOURCE Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
For further information: Jon Farrow, Media Relations Specialist, [email protected]