Montréal is now a major global hub for artificial intelligence (AI) research and it’s AI ecosystem is thriving. Here are a few good reasons you should consider Montréal for your next destination.
Montréal boasts an exceptionally high concentration of expertise in the area of AI, thanks in part to the efforts of Université de Montréal professor Yoshua Bengio, one of the founding fathers of the deep learning movement and head of the Montréal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA).
McGill University and Université de Montréal have more than 250 researchers and doctoral students in fields related to artificial intelligence, the largest AI academic community in the world.
Montréal also has famous researchers in automatic speech recognition, computer vision, natural language processing and reinforcement learning.
Québec has received $100 million over five years for the creation of an AI cluster and $40 million for the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
McGill University and Université de Montréal were granted $84 million and $93.5 million respectively from the $900-million Canada First Research Excellence Fund to pursue their AI-related research.
Major players are investing in Montréal’s AI industry, including DeepMind, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Thales.
DeepMind, a Google-affiliated company since 2014, will set up an artificial intelligence research lab in Montréal in close collaboration with McGill University. The UK-based company’s new lab will be headed by one of the pioneers in the field, Doina Precup, a McGill professor and an expert in reinforcement learning.
After Microsoft and Google, it’s now Facebook’s turn to set up an artificial intelligence research lab in Montréal, its first in Canada. The American giant will also invest $7 million to support AI research in Montréal through partnerships with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA).
In June 2017, Montréal’s own Element AI, co-founded by Yoshua Bengio, announced it had raised the record amount of $137.5 million to support its research activities. Thanks to this funding, the company will invest heavily in large-scale AI projects and position itself as the leading AI company in Canada
Microsoft acquired the young Montréal AI company Maluuba in January 2017 and announced plans to double the number of employees over the next two years. Microsoft also confirmed that it would award grants of $6 million to Université de Montréal and $1 million to McGill University over a five-year period for their AI research.
Google announced a $4.5-million investment over three years to fund research by the Montréal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and create an AI and deep learning research group of its own in Montréal.
The Québec government announced in May 2017 it will invest $100 million over the next five years to create an AI research cluster in Québec and foster collaboration between universities, research and innovation centres, incubators, accelerators, startups, SMBs and capital providers both here and abroad.
Experts from around the world took part in the first AI Forum held in Montréal in May 2017, during the C2 conference—possibly the world’s most innovative business conference. Presented in partnership with Element AI, the forum explored the future trends of this revolutionary technology.
Here are a few profiles of Montréal AI ecosystem leaders—some well known, some not.
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