Toronto-based Vector Institute announced today that it has effectively doubled its faculty of AI researchers. The non-profit said that ten new machine learning, deep learning, and AI researchers have joined its faculty from both Canadian and international institutions. The total headcount, when including Chief Scientific Advisor Geoffrey Hinton and Research Director Richard Zemel, sits now at 20.
“The world’s most promising researchers in deep learning and other AI subfields are looking at Canada as a hub.”
“Increasingly, the world’s most promising researchers in deep learning and other AI subfields are looking at Canada as a hub with many opportunities to collaborate, advance research and develop applications,” said Hinton. “Vector is a pillar of the Canadian AI ecosystem and I’m very excited that the team is expanding with highly sought-after talent, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with. This team will drive Vector’s excellence in research, education and industry collaboration.”
Vector Institute has listed the new full staff here, although a quick check indicates that while some faculty members will start before the end of year, most won’t join until 2018. Vector’s recently announced first President and CEO, Dr. Garth Gibson, also won’t start until January of next year. Two of the ten new faculty additions are women, bringing Vector’s total to four.
Vector was launched March of this year with over $80 million in committed funding from the public and private sector, in partnership with the University of Toronto and other universities across Canada. Recently, the institute received another $30 million investment from the Ontario government as part of the province’s pitch for Amazon’s new HQ2. Vector Institute Chair Ed Clark noted at the time that the province will commit the funds regardless of Amazon’s decision.
“Artificial Intelligence is an essential building block in today’s global economy – our government is ready to support Canada’s leadership role in this area,” Minister Navdeep Bains told BetaKit in a statement. “We’ve launched the PanCanadian AI Strategy to attract top academic talent and increase the number of graduates and researchers studying artificial intelligence and deep learning in Canada. The Vector Institute’s top-quality work is exactly what we need to continue growing Canada’s global reputation as a cutting-edge leader in AI research.”