Science & Nature

Jul 1, 2017

ARTIFICIAL (SHORTLY) INTELLIGENCE

Officially launched on Toronto, Canada, on March 30, the Vector Institute already attracted an investment of over 150 million dollars from companies such as Facebook and Google, communications technology multinationals particularly interested on the development of Artificial Intelligence.

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Headquarted at the MaRS Discovery District on downtown Toronto, it has the objective of creating, attracting and keeping the world's leading talents on the field of Artificial Intelligence, promising huge advances and successes on this field, specifically on the learning abilities of machines.

The Vector Institute is not isolated on this effort, it has established protocols and partnerships with several business incubators, the government, academic institutions, startups and companies already established on the market, thus assuring that it will be able to develop and promote the adoption and commercialization of Artificial Intelligence technology a lot faster in the whole Canadian territory and, posteriorly, all over the world.

The Institute has every intention of becoming the world's leader on masters, PhDs and post-graduations on the fields of deep learning and machine learning, or in other words, of Artificial Intelligence capable of studying and learning autonomously. Although it counts with several partnerships with multiple Canadian universities with the aim of turning this project into a national and cohesive effort, the core of the Vector is constituted by professors and researchers of the University of Toronto, acting as its founders.

On the words of Geoffrey Hinton, that will lead the Institute's Scientific Counsel, "The opportunities for new discoveries in the field of deep learning are very exciting, and the applications are endless. Now is the time for us to lead the research and shape the future of this field, putting neural network technologies to work in ways that will improve health care, strengthen our economy and unlock new fields of scientific advancement."

The government of Canada had already included on its budget 125 million dollars to support the development of Artificial Intelligence on the country, namely through its Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) that will work with the Vector Institute, being a crucial partner on this initiative. The Institute predicts to hire over 400 researchers on its first years and to extend the use of Artificial Intelligence to the fields of finance, insurance, teaching, retail, advanced production, construction and transportation.

Besides Google and Facebook, the Institute already caught the support of multinationals such as Accenture, NVidia, Scotiabank, Uber, Thomson, Reuters, KPMG, Loblaw, Magna or BMO 200 and the list just keeps on growing, all counting with a return for its investment on the long run by taking part today on the creation of the world that we hopefully will witness, hence the Vector's main ambition is precisely to develop these new technologies in a practical and fast passed rhythm.

The location chosen for its headquarters is, in itself, an example of the technological innovation that turned Canada into a world reference on the field of the developing of new technologies. The MaRS Discovery District was founded on 2000 with the purpose of commercializing technological breakthroughs achieved with public funding on a partnership with private investors and, since 2014 the fruits of those partnerships finally arose. Besides having created over 4,000 jobs, the MaRS also attracted over 750 million dollars on investments, the Vector Institute could hardly find a more appropriate location, being precisely just a short walk away from the University of Toronto, where the founders of the Institute lecture and develop their researches.

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