New artificial intelligence research institute launched in Toronto

Vector Institute Aims to Produce World’s Largest Number of Deep Learning AI Graduates
TORONTO, ON – Vector Institute, a new independent research facility for artificial intelligence (AI), has opened its doors at the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto.

According to stakeholders, the aim of the new facility is to produce, attract and retain the finest talent in the world as part of a Canadian-rooted economic supercluster that will generate future discovery, opportunity, jobs and growth.

“The Vector Institute is an unprecedented answer to an unprecedented opportunity and represents an exceptional partnership between independent researchers, academic institutions, government, private industry and entrepreneurs,” Ed Clark, chair of the Vector Institute board of directors said.

Vector will be dedicated to cutting-edge exploration of AI, specializing in the transformative fields of deep learning and machine learning. By collaborating with academic institutions, incubators, accelerators, start-ups, scale-ups and established companies, the hope is Vector will advance AI research and drive the adoption and commercialization of AI technologies across Canada.

“The Vector Institute will confirm Canada’s world-leading position in the field of deep learning artificial intelligence. Consequently, it will spur economic growth in Canada by attracting talent and investment, supporting scale-up firms and enabling established firms to be best-in-class adopters of artificial intelligence,” he said.

He adds that Vector intends to produce more masters, applied masters, PhDs and post-doctoral graduates in deep learning and machine learning AI than any other institution in the world, attracting top talent, investment, and researchers from around the world and contributing to a more vibrant start-up and spin-off ecosystem.

Its founding scientists, including world-renowned researcher Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, are affiliated with the University of Toronto. Vector is also actively engaging with other universities across Ontario and Canada to attract, train and keep the world’s best minds in Canada. It serves as a key pillar to a pan-Canadian AI leadership strategy.

“The opportunities for new discoveries in the field of deep learning are very exciting, and the applications are endless,” said Hinton, who will serve as Vector’s chief scientific advisor. “Now is the time for us to lead the research and shape the future of this field, putting neural network technologies to work in ways that will improve health care, strengthen our economy and unlock new fields of scientific advancement. And with the Vector Institute collaborating with institutes in Montreal and Edmonton we can do that here in Canada.”

Vector Institute launches with a substantial partnership between government and industry. The Province of Ontario has committed $50 million to support the Institute. In addition, as part of the Government of Canada’s $125 million Pan-Canadian AI Strategy announced in the 2017 budget, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) will work with the Vector Institute – a key partner in the initiative – to support the core activities of the Institute, the Canada CIFAR chairs in AI Science, graduate training, and the participation of the Chairs and trainees in national AI activities.

In addition, more than 30 companies have committed a combined total of over $80 million over ten years to support the institute.

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