Quebec-based artificial intelligence (AI) supercluster Scale AI has invested $3.4 million into eight projects that are focused on solutions addressing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us remember this spirit of collaboration when, hopefully, we return to a more normal life.”
– Yoshua Bengio
The investment comes after Scale AI launched a call for projects to find solutions that can help Canada fight the virus. That call saw 120 project ideas submitted in three weeks, Scale AI said. Julien Billot, general manager of Scale AI, noted that the investments are part of a supercluster COVID-19 program that is aimed at developing and financing projects much more quickly than other projects.
“With projects that include analysis tools for research and clinical trials, coordination of patient services, supply management for drugs, medical equipment, and food and essentials, AI has once again demonstrated its ability to support all sectors in improving their efficiency,” Billot added.
AlayaCare, which received a Scale AI investment of $297,500 and a total investment of $312,500 to create a new tool for monitoring the health of both patients and workers.
“The collective fight against COVID-19 highlights the exceptional work of the care teams deployed for patients,” said Naomi Goldapple, head of AlayaLabs at AlayaCare. “We are proud to contribute in our own way, with AI solutions that ensure continuity of home care in a safe manner.”
Telehealth startup Dialogue Technologies received a Scale AI and total investment of $500,000 to improve the service of its automated public chatbot, called Chloé. The system aims to facilitate quick access to information for citizens and allow healthcare professionals to focus on tasks that require their expertise.
Montreal AI research institute Mila will use its Scale AI investment of $125,000 and its total investment of $250,000 to speed up the interpretation of research data for antiviral molecules. This project will involve a new deep learning algorithm to utilize AI and transfer this knowledge into applied research.
“The entire vocation of Mila is found in this project, at the junction between disciplines and types of research, at the service of the common good,” said Yoshua Bengio, scientific director of Mila. “Let us remember this spirit of collaboration when, hopefully, we return to a more normal life. This is also a spirit of science, where the emphasis is on the joy of understanding, sharing and discovering solutions together.”
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) which received $500,000 from both Scale AI and overall, is adapting its mentorship program to help startups to face the challenges by COVID-19 in terms of public health and economic recovery. The selected projects will benefit from the support of entrepreneurs, economists, scientists, inventors, business leaders, and investors. CDL also recently added a COVID-19 stream dedicated to ideas addressing the pandemic response.
Roche Diagnostics received a Scale AI investment of $500,000 and a total investment of $600,000, to help Canada meet the demand for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The project will create a forecasting model and “allocation optimization engine,” to help stakeholders keep up with testing demands.
Careteam Technologies and FleetOps have received a Scale AI investment and a total investment of $500,000. The companies will create a digital platform aimed to support vulnerable people during the pandemic.
The Montreal Port Authority has received a Scale AI investment and a total investment of $500,000 to improve the identification and prioritization of critical cargo arriving at the Port of Montreal, to ensure essential goods such as food and medical supplies are being distributed rapidly.
Finally, the Montreal Heart Institute will develop an intelligent infrastructure to oversee clinical trials by optimizing the management of informed patient consent, as well as the capture, filtering and analysis of data from a treatment evaluation study based on colchicine to reduce mortality from COVID-19. The project received $100,000 from Scale AI and $300,000 overall.
Image source Scale AI via Twitter.