University of Waterloo creates AI institute
April 25, 2018
WATERLOO, Ont. – University of Waterloo launched the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute earlier this month, bringing together a large group of researchers and businesses to advance the technology and prepare Canada for future economic disruption.
Waterloo AI will focus on end-to-end innovation, ranging from foundational to operational AI. Foundational AI advances the field as a whole through research in a number of areas, including statistical learning, deep learning, game theory and data science. Operational AI develops scalable, secure and transparent solutions for a wide range of applications.
As part of its mandate, Waterloo AI will pursue new areas of research with societal and business impact, including healthcare, environmental protection, urban planning, manufacturing, autonomous systems and human-machine interaction. It will emphasize timely access to expertise to individuals and industry.
Corporate sponsors of Waterloo AI include General Motors Canada, Huawei Technologies Co, Loblaw Companies Limited, Nutrien, Shopify, Borealis AI, Magna International, Miovision Technologies, NexJ Systems and Scribendi.
“The launch of Waterloo AI enhances Canada’s leadership in foundational and operational AI as it brings together world renowned researchers with industry to accelerate innovation and prepare for future disruptions,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur (pictured), president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “By connecting research talent with industry expertise, Waterloo AI will identify problems and produce solutions that will actively benefit our society.”
Waterloo AI is a joint venture of the University’s Faculties of Engineering and Mathematics and will also include researchers from Arts, Applied Health Sciences, Environment and Science. It is affiliated with a number of existing labs, centres and institutes at Waterloo.
“Artificial intelligence is estimated to contribute up to $15.7 trillion per year to the global economy by 2030; if properly leveraged AI will promote innovation, grow the economy and create thousands of middle-class jobs,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “As a world leader in AI, Canada’s talent and expertise attract millions in foreign investment annually.
“Our government will continue to build on our strengths in AI and we look forward to seeing the contributions of the Waterloo AI Institute in the months to come.”
Waterloo AI is led by two co-directors: Fakhri Karray, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Peter van Beek, professor of computer science.