‘All-in Edmonton’: Global Centre for Excellence in AI and Machine Learning

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‘All-in Edmonton’: Global Centre for Excellence in AI and Machine Learning

Barb Stuhl-Smith (pictured), business development account manager at Edmonton Tourism, explores Edmonton’s artificial intelligence and machine learning industry and it’s rising position as a globally recognised hub.


As one of the youngest and fastest growing major cities in Canada, Edmonton, Alberta’s capital, is home to makers and risk takers who are ready to bring their ideas to life.

Our city is globally recognised as a hub for machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) research, and it has grown to become known as a flourishing ecosystem of collaboration between visiting groups, local associations, educational institutions and experts.

When you have some of the best and brightest coming to Edmonton for its world-class research institutions, entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to science and technology, it is the perfect destination for groups to meet and collaborate.

Canada was the first country in the world to announce a national strategy for AI in 2017, and I am proud to say that Edmonton is leading the way. With one of the largest clusters of AI research and industry in the country, the city has been ground-zero for some of the most pivotal breakthroughs in the sector.

Edmonton has unparalleled research assets that are anchored by the University of Alberta (currently ranking third worldwide for academic papers and research on AI and machine learning – CSRanking.org) and its world-class Computing Science department, which works in concert with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii).

Originally formed in 2002, Amii works to enhance knowledge and accelerate innovation in the fields of machine learning and AI.

As one of the most renowned AI institutes in the world, Amii’s team of experts includes over 120 staff and students who are helping to transform Alberta’s health and life science’s landscape. Their research teams work at the forefront of precision medicine, developing new methods and algorithms for advanced diagnosis, patient-specific assessments and predictive treatment planning. They are also working with governmental partners to develop an Alberta-based community around AI and health and to unlock health data for both academic researchers and industry innovators.

Through world-class research and development, Amii’s team of experts advance academic understanding and provide data-driven solutions to some of the toughest problems facing businesses in the province and beyond.

Additionally, Alphabet’s (Google) DeepMind opened their first international office outside the UK in Edmonton in order to gain access to Edmonton’s top talent, including renowned Amii researchers Rich Sutton, Michael Bowling, and Patrick Pilarski.

The Royal Bank of Canada’s research and development lab, Borealis AI, also chose to establish a lab in the city to capitalise on Edmonton’s talent pool of graduating students and the growing AI community.

This summer, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and Amii are welcoming graduate students, post-docs and professionals to Edmonton for the Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School (DLRLSS), from July 24 –August 2, 2019 at the University of Alberta. The DLRL Summer School has become a beacon for top AI students and experts from around the world.

Every year, Canada sees an influx of talented individuals who are eager to learn from some of the world leaders in the fields of deep learning and reinforcement learning. Events like the DLRL Summer School further cement Canada and Edmonton’s reputation as global leaders in AI and continue to push the bounds of scientific knowledge by raising up the next generation of scientists.

With such engaged and talented individuals, Edmonton has an opportunity to showcase the strengths of its research community and some of the world-changing work happening in Canada’s Health City. Just last year, the government of Alberta invested CAD$50m to create 3,000 new high-tech training jobs in the province’s post-secondary institutions; in February 2019, they announced a further $100m will be used to attract AI- and tech-based company investment in the province. We are “All-In” in Edmonton, with limitless possibility and potential at our fingertips, now more than ever before. We welcome you to come and see for yourself!

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