Scotiabank has donated $750,000 in funding to the University of Ottawa to launch a new initiative to identify solutions to issues related to ethical AI and technology development.
The Scotiabank Fund for the AI + Society Initiative will launch two research projects: AI & Inclusion, which aims to support research focused on design ethics and inclusive AI systems, and AI & Regulation, which will explore global AI regulations and their impact on Canadian policymakers.
“This partnership with the University of Ottawa allows us to help our future leaders.”
According to Scotiabank, the initiative will offer students opportunities to gain experience in the field by offering support for educational opportunities such as postdoctoral fellowships, international internships, and research fellowships.
“This partnership with the University of Ottawa allows us to help our future leaders as they build the future of AI,” said Lora Paglia, Scotiabank’s senior vice-president of global risk management, analytics.
University of Ottawa’s president and vice-chancellor, Jacques Frémont, noted that the university was pleased to receive the funding. He added that the $750,000 will strengthen the University of Ottawa’s ability to provide Canadians with “leading-edge research and regulatory guidance” for the ethical use of AI.
Scotiabank has supported innovation at a number of Canadian post-secondary institutions in the past. In 2017, the financial institution donated $2 million to the University of British Columbia to fund cybersecurity and financial risk research. The Scotiabank Cybersecurity and Risk Analytics Initiative aimed to support the university’s researchers and statistics professors in better understanding the impacts of cyberattacks.
The bank also dedicated $1 million to OCAD in 2016 to develop a Design Thinking Research Studio. That same year, Scotiabank invested $1.75 million to the University of Toronto’s Roman School of Management to establish the Scotiabank Disruptive Technologies Venture at the school.
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