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Canada AI Software Science Technology

How Canada Ended Up As An AI Superpower 64

pacopico writes: Neural nets and deep learning are all the rage these days, but their rise was anything but sudden. A handful of determined researchers scattered around the globe spent decades developing neural nets while most of their peers thought they were mad. An unusually large number of these academics -- including Geoff Hinton, Yoshua Bengio, Yann LeCun and Richard Sutton -- were working at universities in Canada. Bloomberg Businessweek has put together an oral history of how Canada brought them all together, why they kept chasing neural nets in the face of so much failure, and why their ideas suddenly started to take off. There's also a documentary featuring the researchers and Prime Minster Justin Trudeau that tells more of the story and looks at where AI technology is heading -- both the good and the bad. Overall, it's a solid primer for people wanting to know about AI and the weird story of where the technology came from, but might be kinda basic for hardcore AI folks.
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How Canada Ended Up As An AI Superpower

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  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday May 26, 2018 @09:10AM (#56678008)
    when it wasn't profitable on a 5 year timescale like they do here in the states.
  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Saturday May 26, 2018 @09:20AM (#56678032) Journal
    Lots of really smart people attracted to doing advanced things in Canada does not result in a product people need later. []
    But its all fun in Canada doing AI until then.
    Could it be like the MCM/70 [] with Canada doing pioneering AI work?
    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      Yes, America pressured Canada to drop the Arrow, that way getting a bunch of engineers to work with their Germans to build Apollo and also so they can forever bitch about Canada not doing enough for defence. Same thing happened earlier with nukes.

  • Can I download an A.I. program and have it help me with my tasks and issues? It has to be general purpose in nature, and adaptable to a single person's world view point. It has to constructively inform. From what I can see, A.I. is not there, yet.
    • Lots of prime time computing doesn't run on your hardware. Can everyone with internet access connect to an AI and get it to help with daily tasks and issues? I think we do. Frequently, the daily tasks and issues with which these AIs help are not our own.
      • Can you suggest a source to try?
        • I don't think I communicated correctly. I don't know of anyone renting general access to their AI for it to perform various tasks like an AI MTurk. However, all the usual network services that people use every day are using prime time AIs to help with the service they perform for you. Google has AIs to decide what you're thinking of when you write search terms and what to show you when you visit Google News. Facebook has AIs to decide what advertising to show you. When you talk to a virtual assistant, ther
          • This is really cool to consider various A.I.'s that are in use today by businesses; for commerce. The subtle application I am in search of is an A.I. that does not represent some mercantile oriented transaction; but as a 3rd party observer in nature. As any observer of elementary economics will agree, "Customers" are the other half of the economic cycle. My search is for a Customer positioned solutoin.
  • It is funny to see the industry still trying to flog neural networks. Pathetic.
  • No so fast (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward


    I lived in Canada for over 30 years and this isn't exactly the case. Yes they have courses on it at UofT and some great minds have come out of there - but not so fast. Myself and many of my peers in the same area moved to the US simply because lack of work... Now working at Microsoft in the US and giving speeches on ML topics.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Canadian artificial intelligence is no match for American natural stupidity!

  • This is probably the biggest AI hype in the long running AI hype-->trough-->hype cycle we've had going on since the 50s-60s.

    1) the only reason AI and specifically NN are meeting the success they have, such as they are, is brute force. These are the same algos and designs that were around in the 80s and 90s, really, not much "progress" has happenend sionce then however, CPUs have become much more powerful and memory is much bigger and faster and ways of connecting those CPUs together are now well un

    • by neoRUR ( 674398 )

      You started off good AC, but then you seemed to have gone of into the I just think rather then I know category.

      Yes the hardware is cheaper and GPUs are more powerful, but the math in NNs and CNNs and all that and the levels that you have in them could never have been done before.

      There are many more people studying NN's now than ever, so we can try many more things.

      It's not all about Big data and just processing your shopping habits, there is some real work going on in making these systems recognize the worl

  • Do you want polite Terminators? Because this is how you get polite Terminators.

    • until you get them going about either not speaking French or speaking French, they hassle you about the alcoholic beverages and sausages in a cooler buried under camping gear, go on-and-on about how much nicer Toronto is than any U.S. city, torture you to boredom with endless gossip about ice dancers or hockey players, and warn you "I'll be back" with the speech accent of Jordan Peterson before they crash a Bombardier Ski-Doo through the glass doors?

    • "I'll be back"


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.