A|I: The AI Times – Can Québec’s Quantum Innovation Zone fill Canada’s D-Wave-sized hole?

DistriQs executive director Richard St-Pierre
Plus: AWS investing $100 million in generative AI center.

The AI Times is a weekly newsletter covering the biggest AI, machine learning, big data, and automation news from around the globe.

If you want to read A|I before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page.

Québec’s quantum scene gets boost with new factory, startup studio (BETAKIT)

Québec’s quantum sector is getting a boost with a new factory and tech hub being established in the province.

While Canada is losing its quantum staple in D-Wave, which is moving its Burnaby, BC head office to the United States, these two new initiatives could help Québec and other provinces continue to expand their market share in the quantum science category.

Aidan Gomez: AI threat to human existence is ‘absurd’ distraction from real risks (FINANCIAL TIMES)

The co-founder and CEO of Cohere says he sees AI augmenting rather than replacing the role of humans in society, and points towards the use of artificial intelligence in social media and medicine as a future concern.

Altis Labs closes $7.9 million CAD to evaluate cancer treatments using AI (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Altis Labs, which helps biopharmaceutical companies analyze medical imaging and expedite clinical trials using artificial intelligence (AI), has secured $7.9 million CAD ($6 million USD) in seed funding.

AWS is investing $100 million in generative A.I. center in race to keep up with Microsoft and Google (CNBC)

Amazon’s cloud unit said it’s allocating $100 million for a center to help companies use generative artificial intelligence.

The announcement shows that Amazon Web Services recognizes the significance of the current moment in generative AI and the importance of being in the conversation, alongside rivals Microsoft and Google.

Semiconductor working group launched to advocate for industry priorities (BETAKIT)

Semiconductor industry experts and organizations have formed a new working group called SILICAN: the Semiconductor Industry Leadership and Innovation Canada Action Network.

SILICAN will work with federal and provincial governments to advocate for semiconductor industry priorities and co-develop a made-in-Canada action plan for strategic leadership in the global semiconductor value chain.

AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio to focus on safer uses of AI, argues regulation necessary (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Artificial intelligence pioneer Yoshua Bengio says he wll be redirecting his research to ensure he is working on applications of the technology that are safe for society.

"I think I am going to reorient my research so that either I am working on applications that are not dangerous or very safe like…healthcare or the environment or working on safety, to prepare and prevent what could happen," Bengio said.

Collision will remain in Toronto for 2024 (BETAKIT)

Collision has officially announced that Toronto will host its tech event in 2024.

The one-year extension of the original 2019 deal comes after BetaKit reported the future of the conference was in question due to the departure of Mayor John Tory and increased financial asks.

Exclusive: OpenAI Lobbied the E.U. to Water Down AI Regulation (TIME)

OpenAI has lobbied for significant elements of the most comprehensive AI legislation in the world—the E.U.’s AI Act—to be watered down in ways that would reduce the regulatory burden on the company, with some requests being granted as shown in a white paper shared exclusively by TIME.

Train Fitness closes $2.5 million USD to expand automatic workout-tracking app for strength training (BETAKIT)

Train Fitness, a Toronto fitness-tech startup, has secured $2.5 million USD in seed funding for its app that it claims can help users log strength-training workouts automatically by leveraging proprietary machine learning models and the existing motion recognition capabilities integrated into the Apple Watch.

AI Boomerang: Google’s Internal Critic Returns From Rival OpenAI (THE INFORMATION)

Jacob Devlin, a prominent artificial intelligence researcher who left Google for rival OpenAI in January after complaining internally about how the company trained its Bard AI chatbot software, has returned to his old job, reflecting the intense competition for talent in the field.

2022 angel investment in Canada mirrored VC dip, dropping 37 percent year-over-year (BETAKIT)

According to NACO, despite record demand, total angel investment in Canada during 2022 fell 37 percent year-over-year to $166 million CAD. Last year, angel organizations facilitated 653 investments in 379 companies.

While deal count rose slightly in 2022 compared to 2021, NACO noted a trend towards follow-on angel investments.

Artificial intelligence makes Bill C-18, Canada’s Online News Act, already outdated (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Michael Geist says that the not-so-secret reality of the recently passed Online News Act is that it is written for a different era entirely. In fact, the bill acts as if AI does not exist at all.

Subscribe to A|I: The AI Times Newsletter

* indicates required

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

0 replies on “A|I: The AI Times – Can Québec’s Quantum Innovation Zone fill Canada’s D-Wave-sized hole?”