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Canada to host G7 conference on AI in Montreal December 6

The upcoming conference is one of the outcomes of the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Preparing for Jobs of the Future that the government hosted in March this year and will be one of the last events hosted under Canada’s G7 Presidency.

The G7 conference is being held during the NIPS Conference, the biggest machine-learning and AI conference in the world, being held this year December 3-8, in Montreal at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

“Artificial Intelligence is a key part of our government’s economic growth strategy. It presents new opportunities to generate prosperity for Canadian families through new and innovative high-quality jobs,” Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said in a news release Wednesday afternoon. “The G7 conference in December will help us focus on the responsible adoption of AI and explore business opportunities related to AI.”

Canada positioned as a world leader in AI
Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton have already become hubs for artificial intelligence research and development (R&D), with the likes of Google, Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, and Samsung all doing significant work in the AI technology field in Canada.

File photo: The T-HR3 is the latest in dozens of humanoid models that have been developed recently t...

File photo: The T-HR3 is the latest in dozens of humanoid models that have been developed recently thanks to rapid technological advances, especially in artificial intelligence
Toru YAMANAKA, AFP


And the government has already put a significant amount of funding into the AI initiative, including $125 million as part of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, according to the Financial Post.

Additionally, the $950 million supercluster program includes a number of regional projects with an AI component, including SCALE.AI – one of 5 superclusters to receive funding allocated through the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. SCALE.AI is focused on AI-enabled supply chain.

December G7 conference agenda
While no formal agenda for the December meeting has been announced, it was decided at the March meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec that the agenda for the upcoming conference would include academics, civil society, industry, and governments, with the discussion centered around “how to harness the positive transformational potential of AI to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”

For Canada to hold onto its place at the forefront of AI R&D, as well as its leadership roll in promoting innovation in technology, the country will rely on a key resource, its talent.

Bains was speaking at the Fortune Global Forum in Toronto earlier in the day on Wednesday, and when asked about the increasing competitiveness in the global AI sector, especially between China and the U.S., Bains answered, saying “From our perspective as a government, we realize this is the area where we can continue to succeed. We’re betting on our No. 1 resource, which is our talent.”

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