Ontario Opens World-Leading Artificial Intelligence Institute

Vector Institute to strengthen province’s knowledge economy, deliver innovation breakthroughs and create jobs

Toronto, ON (Apr. 3, 2017) – Ontario is ensuring businesses in the province continue to stay ahead in the innovation economy, and attract investment and top talent, by supporting a new institute for artificial intelligence (AI) with a specific focus on deep learning and machine learning.

Ontario’s highly skilled workforce, competitive business climate and recognized culture of innovation make the province an ideal home for the Vector Institute for artificial intelligence. The institute will work to produce, retain and attract top talent in the field and generate further investment from companies looking to hire experts and expand their AI divisions.

“Ontario is, and will remain, a leader in the innovation and knowledge economy, and by accelerating artificial intelligence development and research our government is demonstrating our continued commitment to improving the lives of all Ontarians,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “The Vector Institute will help Ontario shape homegrown solutions and stay at the forefront of AI innovation, making improvements from food safety to how we teach our children or better care for our loved ones when they are sick.”

Collaborating with established businesses, start-ups and academic institutions, the institute’s work holds great promise for solving some of the biggest health, social and economic challenges of our time. Artificial intelligence can deliver improvements as diverse as accurately diagnosing an illness earlier, to protecting people against consumer fraud.

“The opportunities for new discoveries in the field of deep learning are very exciting, and the applications are endless,” said Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, Chief Scientific Advisor, Vector Institute. “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.”

Ontario’s investment in the Vector Institute will help:

  • Encourage more investment, research and development, and create jobs;
  • Retain, train and attract talent, with the aim of producing the most masters, applied masters, PhDs and post-doctoral graduates in deep learning and machine learning AI;
  • Provide businesses with made-in-Ontario AI tools, talent and research;
  • Promote exports of homegrown products and services enabled through AI.

Staying on the cutting edge of technology and leading global innovation is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

“The Vector Institute is a great example of how we’re partnering with the private sector and academic institutions to make sure Ontario is driving innovation,” added Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Growth and Development. “It’s more important than ever that we take steps to stay ahead when it comes to R&D and commercialization in a highly competitive knowledge-based economy. Investments like these will help diversify our economy and create jobs of the future that will be increasingly in demand.”

“Artificial intelligence and deep learning are, in fact, all about people,” said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. “We will harness these cutting-edge technologies to improve everyday life in Ontario, while also attracting the world’s best talent to our province. These investments strengthen our position as a global leader in the innovation economy, which is critical to creating more well-paying jobs and shared prosperity for the people of Ontario.”

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $50 million in the Vector Institute, which will also be supported by the federal government. In addition, more than 30 companies in the private sector are anticipated to invest $80 million.
  • Ontario’s tech sector employs approximately 430,000 people. Investing in the Vector Institute supports the province’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy by building on the strength of our education system to help prepare people for tomorrow’s jobs in this important technology- and knowledge-based sector.
  • The Vector Institute will focus on deep learning, a technology that uses software and algorithms to simulate the neural circuits of the human brain to compute massive amounts of data.
  • The Vector Institute will collaborate with industry partners from sectors such as health care, banking, accounting, insurance, retail, telecommunications, manufacturing, technology, transportation, mining, construction and logistics to commercialize AI across industries.

Additional Resources

Source: Government of Ontario