Canada’s largest bank, RBC has teamed up with Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and signed a deal that fosters artificial intelligence and machine-learning start-ups at the school. 

The agreement includes a contribution by RBC to the fund at Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab, “a seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based companies that is home to 50 AI ventures”, BusinessBecause reports.

“With their support we are able to scale our program. We are now home to 50 AI companies. To our knowledge, this is the greatest concentration of AI companies in any program on Earth,” Rachel Harris, director of The Creative Destruction Lab told BusinessBecause.

With the aim of pushing the boundaries of machine learning’s science, RBC will launch its RBC Reseach in Machine Learning practice, which will be housed at the Banting Institute at the University of Toronto, headed by Dr Foteini Agrafioti.

“RBC Research in Machine Learning is part of our commitment to the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence in Canada”, Gabriel Woo, vice-president of innovation at RBC, said.

Woo followed up with saying: “We are not only building our own capabilities, we’re also big believers in creating jobs in this space to retain the amazing talent we have in Canada.

“We’re working with leading universities across Canada like the University of Toronto to partner with the best, brightest and boldest minds in the country.”

This deal is the latest in a series of deals created by schools in order to develop commercial ventures in the fields of AI and machine learning. Whereas most initiatives thus far have been centred around the science behind AI and machine learning, such technologies are now increasingly driving widespread commercial change across industries, BusinessBecause writes.

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