MONTREAL – Canada will host a G7 conference on artificial intelligence on December 6, the Canadian government announced today.
As one of the last events under its 2018 presidency of the G7 nations, Canada will host the conference during the week of the annual NIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems) conference, the biggest machine learning and AI conference in the world. The conference was decided as part of the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Preparing for Jobs of the Future back in March of this year.
Although no agenda for the meeting has yet been announced, the ministers at the March G7 meeting agreed that the conference would include academics, civil society, industry, and governments – and discuss “how to harness the positive transformational potential of AI to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”
“Artificial intelligence is a key part of our government’s economic growth strategy,” Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said in a statement. “It presents new opportunities to generate prosperity for Canadian families through new and innovative high-quality jobs. The G7 conference in December will help us focus on the responsible adoption of AI and explore business opportunities related to AI.”
Canada is the home of many of the founding techniques and technologies behind AI, including Geoffrey Hinton’s pioneering work in developing functional neural networks, and over 500 AI companies and startups. Minister Bains says that the government is making efforts to demonstrate global leadership in AI through several initiatives, including a $125 million commitment for the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy to help attract top AI talent and companies using AI; launching the SCALE.AI supercluster as part of the $950 million Innovation Superclusters Initiative; and supporting AI research across multiple regional academic hubs.
Keith Jansa, VP of Standards and Innovation for the CIO Strategy Council, told IT World Canada: “The development of artificial intelligence and the use of big data is a defining issue of our time. It will impact the way Canadians work, live, and interact with each other on a significant scale that reaches beyond our borders.” He believes a common framework and standards for the ethical use of AI and data is going to be critical moving forward, noting that the council is looking forward to engaging with the government on these issues and will review the outcomes from the G7 conference.