May 16, 2022

Taking artificial intelligence from bench to business

On the bench

Twenty years ago, Alberta Innovates planted seeds for the future by funding artificial intelligence research at the University of Alberta. At the time, this emerging area was seen as the realm of a few researchers trying to explore how a machine could “think.”

For most people, it was the realm of science fiction.

Some, however, had a sense of what it could become. At the dawn of the 21st century, the Alberta government set aside a $500 million endowment to create a fund with a competition to establish research groups for promising scientific fields. Among those created was what would become the Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning.

Fast forward to present day and the Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning is now called Amii—the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, and it’s recognized as one of the top centres of artificial intelligence research and business development centres on the globe.

Alberta flexes its AI muscles

And the province isn’t stopping there. Whether it’s analyzing x-rays and MRIs and other medical imaging to improve diagnoses, optimizing water treatment processes, making rail and truck transportation systems more efficient, so we can get products to where they need to be, or improving agriculture productivity through autonomous vehicles, precision irrigation, drones, soil sensors, and image recognition analytics; you’ll notice a pattern: improved efficiency, optimized processes, cost savings, better outcomes – all come with the help of artificial intelligence.

“Technology is increasingly enabling us to see beyond the obvious – to find opportunities and solutions previously hidden to us.

We see Artificial Intelligence, or A.I. as an essential tool that allows us to transform data into information that humanity can act on and use to make better decisions. A.I. provides us with new ways of solving complex problems needing smart and creative solutions.

By adopting A.I. in health, agriculture, energy, financial services, logistics, construction and engineering, Alberta can double-down on a knowledge-based economy complementary to and parallel to its existing economic drivers.

Technologies that employ artificial intelligence will create over $50 trillion in economic impact by the year 2025 and have the potential to increase productivity by 40 percent or more (McKinsey & Company; Accenture).”

                          • Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

In the business game

We’re proud to play a role with Amii, and many others, who have helped transition artificial intelligence from a field of research to a technology platform that’s moving business forward.

From May 24 to 27 we celebrate Artificial Intelligence week with all our partners across the ecosystem, and as the use of artificial intelligence grows from the research bench to a vital business platform, we can only imagine where it will take us in another 20 years!

Learn more about artificial intelligence in the province

Inventures

Join us at Inventures June 1 to 3 and sit in on a variety of sessions focused on exploring artificial intelligence in more depth, a few of which include:

  • In search of altruithm: AI and the future of  social good, where presenters James Stauch and Alina Turner dive into the social implications of AI, and the capacity of the social profit sector to play a critical role in its development alongside High Tech to support an equitable aftermath to 4IR.
  • Digitally enabled care models: Improved patient outcomes, hospital capacity issues and staffing concerns are among a few of the reasons that organizations are exploring new models of care delivery. Through remote patient monitoring, robotics, natural language processing and artificial intelligence care continues to become more customizable, safer, and less costly.
  • Rethinking safety, sustainability: capitalizing on Alberta’s strengths in AI and machine learning.

Register for Inventures!