Where Google goes, others follow

Jul 6, 2017

Google is coming to Alberta to further its artificial intelligence research.

DeepMind, a London-based research division of Google, announced on July 5 that it will open a 10-person lab in Edmonton.

The lab, DeepMind’s first outside of the United Kingdom, will operate in partnership with the University of Alberta. It will be led by U of A academics—and Alberta Innovates funded research chairs—Rich Sutton, Michael Bowling and Patrick Pilarski. These researchers are all internationally-renowned experts in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This announcement is a culmination of a 15-year, $40 million investment by Alberta Innovates. Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, sees this as a huge win.

“We want a place at the global table, and AI can do that for us. Where Google goes, others follow,” said Kilcrease, in an interview with the Edmonton Journals’ Paula Simons. She added this “may end up sparking a group of start-ups in areas we haven’t even thought of yet.”

Viewed in the light of the recent announcement that Microsoft is also doing business in Alberta, the province is making a viable case for becoming a global high tech hub.