Spring 2019 PEG

Movers & Shakers

LATITUDE

WHO ARE YOU CALLING ARTIFICIAL? The University of Alberta is well on its way to building an artificial intelligence hub, after receiving $2.5 million in support from the federal government. The AI-Hub will house high-performance computers that can process large quantities of data in hours—it usually takes days—and will be a collaboration space for academics and industry professionals. As well as supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises and providing artificial-intelligence training for companies in Western Canada, the project is slated to bring in $15 million by way of increased productivity and business revenues. “The AI-Hub will help Canada and Canadian businesses compete in the global innovation race to bring new technologies and products to market and bolster our economy,” said the Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and MP for Edmonton Mill Woods. “The Government of Canada is proud to support the University of Alberta in its efforts to

help establish Alberta as a leader in the artificial intelligence sector.” The funding extends to marketing initiatives designed to raise the visibility of Alberta’s AI sector. The AI and Interaction Digital Entertainment International Conference will be held at the university this year—taking place outside of the U.S. for the first time. “We are grateful for the financial support from our government and industry partners that makes this possible. We expect hundreds of students, faculty and small- and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from this supercomputer facility,” says Dr. Edmond Lou, P.Eng. , associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta. “This project will lead to economic growth and raise the profile of Western Canada’s AI expertise and ecosystem nationally and internationally.”

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52 | PEG SPRING 2019

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