Under the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, a total of $86.5M has been allocated to recruit and retain world-leading experts in AI.
VANCOUVER, Dec. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program, a cornerstone of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, provides outstanding researchers with long-term, dedicated funding to support their research programs and to train the next generation of AI leaders. Each of the chairs will receive five years of dedicated funding to support research excellence in machine learning. The program is one of the goals of the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, a $125-million investment by the Government of Canada.
The 34 newly-named chairs are pioneering research in areas that will have a global societal impact, such as the development of machine learning for medical image analysis, using AI to map and enhance our understanding of the brain, developing responsible and ethical AI technologies, using AI to power robotics for tasks such as safety and surgery, 3D computer vision, natural language processing, and more.
Attracting world-class talent
Thirteen of the chairs named in this cohort have chosen to remain in Canada, a testament to Canada's leadership in AI. Twenty-one are either taking up their first faculty position in Canada and/or have been recruited from the US and around the world to pursue groundbreaking research in Canada.
With today's announcement, since the program launched in December 2018, a total of 80 Canada CIFAR AI Chairs have been named, securing world-class talent and expertise in Canada. The cluster of AI experts is attracting talented students to study in Canada, major multinational companies to set up R&D labs, and inspiring a critical mass of AI startups.
Two researchers awarded Facebook CIFAR AI Chair
In September 2017, CIFAR and Facebook announced a new US$2.625 million partnership. As a major milestone in the partnership, CIFAR is pleased to announce that two of the chairs named today will be Facebook CIFAR AI Chairs. The chairs, Siva Reddy (Mila, McGill University) and Pierre-Luc Bacon (Mila, Université de Montréal), are both based in university labs and will exercise total research independence as chairs.
Pan-Canadian AI Leadership
CIFAR works in close partnership with with three national AI Institutes: Amii (Edmonton), Mila (Montréal) and the Vector Institute (Toronto) in naming chairs for the program. The AI Institutes nominate researchers to the program, and nominations are reviewed by a group of esteemed international reviewers.
The researchers in this cohort are based at École Polytechnique de Montréal, Google Brain, McGill University, Microsoft Research, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, University of Alberta, University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo.
"The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program attracts the best researchers and students in the world to Canada. Through it, we are strengthening our leadership in AI research and creating innovative new technologies to grow our economy, create highly skilled jobs and improve the quality of life for all Canadians," Navdeep Bains, Minister, Innovation, Science and Industry.
"Congratulations to the outstanding researchers who are joining the prestigious Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program," says Dr. Alan Bernstein, CIFAR president & CEO. "Canada and CIFAR have a strong history in supporting AI research and talent, and this program will solidify our position as global leaders in AI.
"AI has the potential to deliver enormous positive social, economic and environmental benefits," says Dr. Elissa Strome, AVP research and executive director of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, CIFAR. "The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs announced today bring diverse perspectives and expertise. Their research will advance AI technologies that are innovative, responsible, equitable and beneficial to society."
"We are proud to partner with CIFAR, continuing our investment in Canada's thriving artificial intelligence ecosystem," says Kevin Chan, head of public policy at Facebook Canada. "Attracting and retaining global talent is an important way for Canada to maintain its global leadership in artificial intelligence."
About the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy
In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead a $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world's first national AI strategy. Through the strategy, CIFAR works in close collaboration with Canada's three national AI Institutes - Amii in Alberta, Mila in Montréal, and Vector Institute in Toronto, as well as universities, hospitals and organizations across the country.
The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program is the cornerstone of the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy. A total of $86.5 million over five years has been earmarked for this program to attract and retain world-leading AI researchers in Canada.
CIFAR is a Canadian-based global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.
By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society. CIFAR's community of fellows includes 20 Nobel laureates and more than 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world's first national AI strategy.
One of Canada's leading AI institutes, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) drives advanced research in machine intelligence at the University of Alberta and other academic institutions. Amii leverages scientific expertise to advance state-of-the-art industry research, enable businesses to build their internal machine learning capabilities and grow Alberta's AI workforce. Visit amii.ca for more information.
Founded by Professor Yoshua Bengio of the Université de Montréal, Mila 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.
The Vector Institute will drive excellence and leadership in Canada's knowledge, creation, and use of artificial intelligence (AI) to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians.
Vector strives to attract the best global talent focused on research excellence in deep learning and machine learning. Our researchers and academic partners are part of a vibrant community of innovative problem-solvers, working across disciplines on both curiosity-driven and applied research.
34 Canada CIFAR AI Chairs named at AICan 2019:
Amii (Edmonton, Alberta)
- Rupam Mahmood, Dept. of Computing Science, University of Alberta
- Lili Mou, Dept. of Computing Science, University of Alberta
- Nathan Sturtevant, Dept. of Computing Science, University of Alberta
- Csaba Szepesvári, Dept. of Computing Science, University of Alberta & DeepMind
- Adam White, Dept. of Computing Science, University of Alberta & DeepMind
Mila (Montréal, Quebec)
- Aishwarya Agrawal, Dept. of Computer Science and Operations Research, Université de Montréal (starting 2020)
- Tal Arbel, Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University
- Pierre-Luc Bacon (Facebook CIFAR AI Chair), Dept. of Computer Science and Operations Research, Université de Montréal
- Danilo Bzdok, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, McGill University
- Sarath Chandar, École Polytechnique de Montréal
- Fernando Diaz, School of Computer Science, McGill University & Microsoft Research
- Marc-Antoine Dilhac, Dept. of Philosophy, Université de Montréal
- Christophe Dubach, School of Computer Science & Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, McGill University
- Audrey Durand, Depts. of Computer Science & Software Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering, Université Laval
- Christian Gagné, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, Université Laval
- Pascal Germain, Dept. of Computer Science & Software Engineering, Université Laval
- François Laviolette, Dept. of Computer Science & Software Engineering, Université Laval
- Nicolas LeRoux, School of Computer Science, McGill University & Google Brain
- Tim O'Donnell, Dept. of Linguistics, McGill University
- Courtney Paquette, Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics, McGill University
- Siamak Ravanbakhsh, School of Computer Science, McGill University
- Siva Reddy (Facebook CIFAR AI Chair), School of Computer Science and Dept. of Linguistics, McGill University
- Irina Rish, Dept. of Computer Science and Operations Research, Université de Montréal
- Martin Vallières, Dept. of Computer Science, Université de Sherbrooke
Vector Institute (Toronto, Ontario)
- Shai Ben-David, School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
- Jakob Foerster, Dept. of Computer & Mathematical Sciences, University of Toronto, Scarborough
- Animesh Garg, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Toronto
- Anna Goldenberg, Dept of Computer Science, University of Toronto & Hospital for Sick Children
- Chris Maddison, Dept. of Computer Science, Dept. of Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto
- Sheila McIlraith, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Toronto
- Gennady Pekhimenko, Depts. of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto
- Toniann Pitassi, Depts. of Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Toronto
- Angela Schoellig, University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies
- Yaoliang Yu, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
For further information: Krista Davidson (in Vancouver, BC, NeurIPS), AI Communications Lead, [email protected], 647-383-7218 (mobile); Jon Farrow (Toronto, ON), Media Relations Specialist, [email protected], 416-971-4884; Spencer Murray, Director, Communications and Public Relations, [email protected]; Vincent Martineau, Head, Communications and Media Relations, [email protected]; Andrea Arbuthnot, Director, Communications & Engagement, [email protected]