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article imageCanada launches multi-million Artificial Intelligence Strategy

By Tim Sandle     Mar 26, 2017 in Technology
Toronto - The Canadian government is to pump in $125 million into a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The funding will go into research, with the aim of Canada becoming the world leader in artificial intelligence.
Part of the money will help secure research grants designed to stop a ‘brain drain’ and ensure that top computing talent and academics remain in the country, avoiding the lure of more lucrative funding for projects in other nations. The money will also help to nurture post-graduate trainees and researchers who wish to study artificial intelligence. There will also be a co-ordinated attempt to bring together Canada’s main centers of computer expertise. These are located in Montreal, Toronto-Waterloo and Edmonton. The funding strategy will be channeled through the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
Discussing the significance of the funding Dr. Alan Bernstein, who is the president of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, said: “The Canadian government clearly recognizes the importance of artificial intelligence as a platform technology that cuts across many areas of innovation today.”
The scientist added further: “This investment in deep AI builds on Canada’s strength as a pioneer in AI research and will provide a strong foundation for Canada to build on its global leadership in this important and exciting field.”
Artificial intelligence is a very broad term. The key aspect is to develop intelligent machines. This definition extends to any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success of a goal. This is not the same as a computer that can reason for itself, and it remains that no computer has yet passed the Turing test. The Turing test is a theoretical model, developed by the father of modern computing, Alan Turing in 1950, to test a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.
Generally the phrase "artificial intelligence" refers to a machine that mimics "cognitive" functions that a human would associate with another human mind. Examples include learning, where past data is used to strengthen future actions, and problem solving. It also stands that something considered as ‘artificial intelligence’ does not necessarily remain within the definition as technology progresses. For example, optical character recognition was once classed as ‘artificial intelligence’; nowadays it is considered as something routine. Where artificial intelligence is cutting edge is with understanding and interpreting human speech, self-driving cars, routing in content delivery networks, and processing and interpreting big data.
In Canada, research organizations linked to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research program have made fundamental advances in artificial intelligence. Examples include techniques developed make computers better at seeing patterns and making accurate predictions based on the patterns.
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