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Alberta investing $100 million in artificial intelligence

Reading Time: 2 minutes
(Last Updated On: Feb 13, 2019)

Above: Premier Notley announces investment in high tech with (L-R) Laura Kilcrease, John Shillington, Minister Bilous and Minister of Finance Joe Ceci.

by Morinville News Staff

The Alberta government announced it is investing $100 million to attract more artificial intelligence-based high-tech companies to Alberta.

“Innovation is a critical tool for competitiveness in nearly every sector of the economy, including energy,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a media release. “By investing in technology and the talent that powers it, we are ensuring Alberta continues to be a world leader in clean, efficient energy production and that our economy is more resilient and diversified for the future.”

The government says an initial investment of $27 million will allow Alberta non-profit Amii to develop a new program that supports companies looking to build their in-house AI capacity, incorporate innovative solutions and drive benefits. The Edmonton-based organization will expand its local presence and open a Calgary office.

The government expects the investment will result in about 5,600 new high-paid jobs and roughly $1.5 billion in overall value to Alberta businesses and Amii-affiliated startups.

“This landmark investment will catalyze economic growth stretching beyond Alberta’s machine intelligence sector,” said John Shillington, CEO, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. “Businesses around the world are turning to machine learning and artificial intelligence as key drivers of innovation across every industry sector. With this renewed support from the Government of Alberta, Amii will advance transformational business programs offering scientific mentorship and educational opportunities. Together, we’re helping Alberta businesses seize the opportunities presented by machine intelligence.”

The Government of Alberta has invested about $42 million in AI-related research at the University of Alberta and Amii since 2002.

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