Canadian government pledges $15 million to create AI centre in Montréal

Canadian government pledges $15 million to create AI centre in Montréal

The Canadian government, jointly with the government of Quebec, have announced the creation of a Montréal-based international centre of expertise for the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI).

The federal government has pledged to invest $10 million over five years to the centre once it opens; this is addition to a $5 million grant previously committed by Quebec, and awarded to Montréal International, to create or attract an international AI organization, bringing total government investment to $15 million over five years.

All this comes as part of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), which was recently discussed at the G7 Leaders’ Summit.

Other recent, large AI investments in Canada include the $100 million donation given to the University of Toronto from philanthropists Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, to build a new AI Innovation Centre to advance disruptive technologies.

Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science, and economic development, said: “The Montréal ecosystem is recognized as a leader in AI. Quebec’s collaboration on the centre of expertise in artificial intelligence will contribute significantly to the coordination of efforts on artificial intelligence in order to anticipate issues associated with this technology and promote its responsible adoption, both in Canada and on a global scale.”

Minister of international relations, Nadine Girault, said of the centre’s creation: “Thanks to its significant scientific network, large university community, and innovative companies, as well as the work of its distinguished researchers, Montréal was ideally suited to host this centre of expertise. Quebec’s unique status within the GPAI will also give a voice to both the government and the ecosystem it represents. This agreement, which is the result of the intensive work of, and collaboration between, the two levels of government over the last several weeks, reaffirms the government of Quebec’s commitment to positioning the province’s expertise among the world’s best and expanding its power of influence.”

The AI centre will be supported by such organizations as the Quebec government funded International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies. It will also assist the work of the federal government’s Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence, formed this May.