Ontario is no latecomer to the artificial intelligence age. In fact, decades ago, it was here that Geoffrey Hinton and a band of AI pioneers hunkered down in labs in Toronto and Waterloo, sustaining what has become today’s hottest discipline.

Their perseverance to unlock the potential of neural networks has made the province a leading source of AI talent and a magnet for tech’s biggest players. In Ontario, businesses can also tap into our world-renowned AI ecosystem to build a sustainable business model while championing the responsible and ethical use of artificial intelligence. And Canada stands out as a place that remains open to differing points of view, connected to the world and free to work collaboratively in our common quest to meet the challenges of our time.

Here are a few highlights from six Ontario cities that can help make AI work for your business:

Guelph

From professors to alumni, contributions from University of Guelph’s brightest minds have made the city an interdisciplinary AI centre. Dr. Graham Taylor is Executive Director of the university’s Ethical Artificial Intelligence Centre as well as Associate Professor and lead for the school’s Machine Learning Research Group, which actively promotes entrepreneurial activities in AI. Meanwhile, Guelph alumna Kelly Brookes has created the female-led artificial intelligence platform Quarter4. Her innovative platform harnesses sports data and statistics to predict team and player performance while engaging sports enthusiasts of all levels – a total score for Guelph!

London

With over 30,000 full-time students enrolled at Western University, 13% of the city’s population, London is recognized for attracting the province’s budding talent. And with Health Sciences being one of the university’s largest faculties, it may come as no surprise that the medical school is working to apply artificial intelligence to medicine.

Magnetic stimulation can effectively treat some patients who suffer from psychosis, but figuring out which people may respond to the treatment has been a process fraught with difficulty – that is, until now. Researchers at Western University’s medical school have landed a $2.1-million federal grant to test whether AI is the answer. The research brought about by this funding could result in a “revolutionary change in psychiatry,” says Lena Palaniyappan, Associate Professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and a scientist at Robarts Research Institute, Western’s research arm.

Hamilton

Home to more than 300 life sciences companies and a powerful manufacturing sector, Hamilton is brimming with talent and is an ideal location for applying AI across a number of sectors. Hamilton Health Sciences recently announced a partnership with Real Time Medical to develop an AI application for healthcare, bringing together technology developers along with close to 100 faculty, 32 residents and 12 fellows, medical physicists and engineering resources.

Meanwhile, in the auto sector, Hamilton’s Preteckt is working to provide a big data architecture designed specifically for the automotive industry. Their predictive diagnostics algorithms for fleet vehicle maintenance has been demonstrated to help save vehicle fleets over $2,500/year per vehicle monitored.

Toronto

The Toronto Region is home to one of the highest concentrations of AI start-ups in the world, but Toronto’s burgeoning AI community is also attracting global attention from established companies such as Uber, NVIDIA, Etsy, HSBC Canada, Thomson Reuters and Samsung. The Toronto Region’s world-renowned AI ecosystem spans academia, research institutes, and incubators and accelerators, breathing life into innovative companies working to solve the world’s greatest challenges through the power of AI.

From the MaRS Discovery District, to ventureLAB, to the Durham College AI/HUB, the support you need to grow your AI business is here. In addition, the Vector Institute is an independent, non-profit research institution excelling in deep learning and machine learning in partnership with the University of Toronto. Under the guidance of Chief Scientific Advisor, Geoffrey Hinton, the “Godfather of AI” – the Vector Institute will build on Canada’s outstanding pool of globally recognized AI expertise by training, attracting and retaining more top researchers who want to lead the world in machine learning and deep learning research, while having the flexibility to work on commercial applications with companies or in their own startups.

Waterloo

Waterloo is at the centre of Canada’s emergence as a global leader in applied artificial intelligence. Recognized for its deep roots in math and computer science, Waterloo plays a key role in developing some of the best and brightest minds – you’d expect nothing less from Silicon Valley’s second leading source of tech talent. The University of Waterloo – which has Canada’s top computer science program – is one of North America's top-ranked AI universities, home to an AI Institute and is a key partner in Canada’s $230 million SCALE.AI supercluster. Waterloo has a community of 90+ AI businesses serving the automotive, security, advanced manufacturing and consumer electronics industries, including giants like Google, Shopify and Square, and several homegrown, high-profile tech companies, including BlackBerry, OpenText, North, D2L, eSentire and Vidyard.

Ottawa

Canada’s capital is one of the hottest and most diverse tech hubs in North America. From the Canadian ecommerce giant, Shopify, to an expanding landscape of high-growth, advanced technology-enabled companies, Ottawa’s reputation as a low cost, high quality of life destination for businesses has led the city to take over as the continent’s highest concentration of tech talent. Add to the mix Ottawa’s new Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) test track, “Ottawa L5”, – the first of its kind in North America – and you have a strong argument for forward-thinking automotive technology companies looking for a place to chart the future of mobility.

Shape AI into a force for good – from Ontario

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Guelph, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Waterloo and Ottawa are six of 11 Canadian cities attending the 2019 AI Summit in London, U.K. To learn more about opportunities to meet with Ontario representatives at the conference contact us today.

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June 10, 2019

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