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    Google Canada announces new research grants to bolster Canada’s AI ecosystem

    Google Canada announces new research grants to bolster Canada’s AI ecosystem

    Google.org will provide $2.7 million in funding to Amii, CIFAR, and CEIMIA to support critical AI research, in areas such as sustainability and the responsible development of AI

    OTTAWA, ON, March 18, 2024 /CNW/ - At an event in Ottawa, Google Canada will announce new research grants that will help pave the way for the future of AI in Canada. Google.org will provide a total of $2.7 million in grant funding to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), and the International Center of Expertise of Montreal on AI (CEIMIA) to support AI research in areas such as sustainability and the responsible development of AI.

    Canada has long been a leader in AI. From its first-rate education system to world-class researchers, there's been a surge in AI knowledge and expertise over the last decade. The country is now at a pivotal moment and has the unique opportunity to harness the technology to address some of society's most pressing challenges.

    "Unlocking AI's potential demands a collective effort, working with others across industries, civil society, education, ethics and more - so we can expand our knowledge and empower others to harness AI's promise," said Sabrina Geremia, VP & Country Manager, Google Canada. "We look forward to supporting these organizations to propel Canada's AI momentum and shape a brighter future that benefits all Canadians."

    The Google.org grant to CIFAR will support its Accelerated Decarbonization program, which brings together experts in carbon capture, storage, and utilization, biochemistry, chemistry, biology and more, to address the carbon cycle and offer new ways of solving climate-related problems. The funding will also support CIFAR's work to promote responsible AI research and development. Finally, the grant will help foster the next generation of AI scientists by supporting programs and training, including for individuals who identify as members of underrepresented groups in AI.

    "CIFAR thanks Google.org for its grant to advance fundamental research aimed at restoring the carbon balance," said Fiona Cunningham, Director, Research and Lead, Impact at CIFAR. "Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. This partnership enables our CIFAR researchers to drive impact and advance work towards a core piece of the climate change puzzle."

    "Advancing Responsible AI is a core tenet of CIFAR's work through the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy," said Elissa Strome, Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy at CIFAR. "Google's support allows CIFAR to leverage the full potential of cross-programmatic collaboration between our Canada CIFAR AI Chairs and Accelerated Decarbonization researchers and ensures that Responsible AI is in the fabric of the work they build together. I look forward to seeing the significant research strides they'll make, thanks to this partnership."

    Google.org's grant to Amii will support its Autonomous Drinking Water project, which enables the deployment of modular water treatment systems into underserved regions using reinforcement learning. While this project aims to support underserved communities in Canada, the insights learned will help reduce the overall water treatment energy use globally through automation-driven optimization.

    "This is an incredible opportunity to tackle water quality issues by delving into autonomous systems research," said Cam Linke, CEO of Amii. "By tapping into our reinforcement learning expertise, we're making significant strides in boosting the efficiency and reliability of water purification. Collaborating with communities to critically examine potential solutions, the assumptions behind them and their possible effects is an incredibly important part of this work serving rural and remote areas. We're deeply grateful for the support from Google.org, which has been essential in bringing our vision to life."

    Lastly, Google.org's grant to CEIMIA, as part of the Digital Futures Project, will fund work that explores opportunities to deepen collaboration and increase interoperability between governments globally on their policy approaches to AI. Announced last year, the Digital Futures Project was created to support researchers, academics, and organizations in creating research, analysis, and promoting debate on public policy solutions for the responsible development of AI.

    "Over the past three years, the global AI governance landscape has rapidly evolved and become increasingly complex, with distinct approaches to policy emerging in different jurisdictions," said Sophie Fallaha, Executive Director of CEIMIA. "Navigating through these different regulations is a key aspect of the responsible development and deployment of AI. Leveraging CEIMIA's unique position within the international AI community, as well as our capacity to reach out to numerous stakeholders and Governments, this project aims to develop tools to help navigate this landscape and identify opportunities to deepen cooperation between governments and increase interoperability between their approaches."

    About Google Canada

    Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a global technology leader, Google's innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google Canada has offices in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa with employees working on teams across Engineering, AI Research, Sales, and Marketing.

    About CEIMIA

    CEIMIA acts as a key player in the responsible development and adoption of artificial intelligence, based on principles of ethics, human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth. CEIMIA develops and implements high-impact applied projects in responsible artificial intelligence. As one of the Expert Support Centres of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), CEIMIA works closely with 29 Governments and more than 150 international multistakeholder experts to address global challenges and priorities by supporting the development of applied responsible AI solutions. Our role is to act as the focal point for international partnerships to foster the development and deployment of such initiatives for the public good.

    About CIFAR

    The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) is a global research organization proudly based in Canada. For 40 years, CIFAR has brought together outstanding researchers from across disciplines and borders to identify and address the most important questions facing science and humanity. Through its 15 research programs, CIFAR convenes close to 400 of the world's top researchers from 141 institutions in 20 countries. Our community of fellows, chairs, scholars and advisors is among the most highly cited in the world, including 20 Nobel Prize laureates and 3 Turing Award winners. In 2017, CIFAR was also appointed by the Government of Canada to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, the world's first national AI strategy. The Pan-Canadian AI Strategy at CIFAR drives cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of diverse AI leaders, and fosters cross-sectoral collaboration for innovation, commercialization and responsible AI adoption. CIFAR works closely with Canada's three National AI Institutes, which are the central hubs of their respective AI ecosystems. Our researchers, companies and innovators come together to advance responsible AI research and its application to areas that can benefit society and drive economic growth.

    About Amii

    One of Canada's three centers of AI excellence as part of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, Amii (the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute) is an Alberta-based non-profit institute that supports world-leading research in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Amii translates fundamental research and breakthroughs in AI into business impact, with a focus on transferring knowledge, technology, and talent to industry at scale and rapidly improving AI literacy for all. For more information, visit amii.ca.

    SOURCE Google Canada

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