Amii Machine Learning Advisor Hossein Shahandeh, also a Fellow of the Energy Futures Lab (EFL), recently spoke to a crowd of nearly 60 attendees at the “Five Big Ideas for Alberta’s Economic Recovery” virtual conference. The EFL-hosted event looked at the global economic crisis caused by COVID-19 and offered strategic investment ideas for economic recovery within the province.

EFL is an initiative that brings together multidisciplinary partners to discuss, experiment and innovate on the topics of climate change, energy security and sustainable development in Alberta. Shahandeh has been a Fellow since January 2020 thanks to his background in chemical engineering and his expertise in oil & gas, and industry applications of AI.

“International companies have opened labs in Alberta because we have all of the raw ingredients for world-leading AI,” notes Shahandeh. “We’re known worldwide for our excellence in AI research, we have a collaborative tech ecosystem, and we have a strong talent pool from institutions like the University of Alberta”

During his session, Shahandeh describes two examples of where AI could be implemented in industry: predictive trends and process optimization. In both examples, organizations working with Amii have built their in-house AI capabilities, leveraging their newfound innovation capacity to make more accurate, data-driven predictions.

View his session below to learn more about why AI is essential to Alberta’s economic recovery:

Discover how to make AI the next big idea for your business: visit our AI for Business page.

EDMONTON, AB (October 17, 2019) – Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) have announced a collaboration via Memorandum of Understanding to leverage each other’s combined expertise to promote a singular service offering at the intersection of drug development and machine learning/artificial intelligence. Together, API and Amii will explore opportunities to collaborate on an ongoing basis and support each other’s efforts in the development of a broader innovation ecosystem.

“We’re really excited about the collaboration with API,“ says John Shillington, President and CEO of Amii. “Drug development is an enormously complex industry, and many of its challenges can now be tackled using machine intelligence. By working with API we’re thrilled to explore ways of collaborating that leverage our combined expertise in a way that is second to none.”

API builds translational teams in pharmaceutical sciences and drug development to support industry and innovators, training students on industry projects at the pace of industry while pulling together the expertise of Canadian research-intensive institutions. Together with the help of Amii, API will be able to explore applications of AI with API’s industry partners in a wide range of areas from early-stage drug design, to clinical trials and beyond.

The memorandum is one that recognizes Amii and API as global leaders in the space. API’s network of members includes global top fifteen expertise in applied pharmaceutical sciences and drug development. When combined with Amii’s position, helping to make the University of Alberta one of the global top five AI and ML institutes, the two organizations are arguably making Alberta the number one place in the world for the application of AI in drug development.

“The combination of machine intelligence with the drug development process has endless possibilities,” says API CEO Andrew MacIsaac. “Through our agreement with Amii, we want our teams to create and find solutions that will get life-saving drugs to the people that need it faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

About Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation

API is a not-for-profit that works in collaboration with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as well as research and post-secondary institutions across Alberta and beyond, with the goal of building a sustainable and vibrant pharmaceutical sector in Canada and establishing Alberta as a world-leading hub for pharmaceutical innovation and commercialization. API draws on an interdisciplinary network of over 30 pharmaceutical scientists, clinicians, regulatory, patent, and market experts in a variety of fields and disease areas to bring life-saving research to the real world.

About Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute

One of Canada’s leading AI institutes, Amii drives advanced research in machine intelligence at the University of Alberta and other academic institutions and leverages scientific expertise to advance state-of-the-art industry research, enable businesses to build their internal machine learning capabilities and grow Alberta’s AI workforce. Visit for more information, or view our fact sheet.

See the original media release on the API website.

AI brings new energy to oil and gas

Amii and Imperial to collaborate on machine learning for the oilpatch

CALGARY, AB (September 27, 2019) – The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and Imperial have announced a two-year agreement to collaborate on the development of Imperial’s in-house machine learning capabilities, which will enable a range of applied artificial intelligence (AI) projects. Through these projects, Imperial will work to develop more effective ways to recover oil and gas resources, reduce environmental impacts and improve the safety of its workforce.

“At Imperial, we are taking action to be a leader in advancing digital and AI technology across the value chain,” said John Whelan, Imperial’s senior vice-president, upstream. “Amii is not only a leader in the AI space globally, but based locally in Alberta. We believe the institute is a perfect partner to help us showcase Alberta’s leadership in technology and digital solutions for responsibly-produced oil and gas.”

Working closely with Imperial, Amii will provide business guidance and scientific mentorship to build Imperial’s in-house machine intelligence capabilities and teams. Amii experts will help define and validate machine learning opportunities, provide assistance with applied projects and connections to the latest applicable AI research. The institute will also support Imperial in attracting and developing its technical teams with an emphasis on enhancing the skills of current employees.

“Imperial is an ideal member for our Amii Innovates program,” says John Shillington, President and CEO of Amii. “Not only do they have a strong commitment to driving innovation in the oil and gas sector, but they’re also focused on growing their internal AI capabilities and teams right here in Alberta.”


About Amii: One of Canada’s leading AI institutes, Amii drives advanced research in machine intelligence at the University of Alberta and other academic institutions and leverages scientific expertise to advance state-of-the-art industry research, enable businesses to build their internal machine learning capabilities and grow Alberta’s AI workforce. Visit for more information, or view our fact sheet.

Cautionary Statement: Statements of future events or conditions in this release, including projections, targets, and estimates are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as intend, project, expect, estimate, goal, believe, anticipate, likely, will and similar references to future periods. Disclosure related to the development of digital and AI technology and its potential value opportunity for Imperial constitute forward-looking statements.

Actual future financial and operating results, including expectations and assumptions concerning applicable laws and government policies; project plans, dates, costs and capacities; production rates; production life and resource recoveries; cost savings; and capital and environmental expenditures could differ materially depending on a number of factors. These factors include changes in the supply of and demand for crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum and petrochemical products and resulting price and margin impacts; political or regulatory events, including changes in law or government policy; the receipt, in a timely manner, of regulatory and third-party approvals; environmental risks inherent in oil and gas exploration and production activities; environmental regulation, including climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions and changes to such regulation; availability and allocation of capital; availability and performance of third party service providers; unanticipated operational disruptions; project management and schedules; response to technological developments; operational hazards and risks; and other factors described in Item 1A of Imperial’s most recent Form 10-K. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some that are similar to other oil and gas companies and some that are unique to Imperial. Imperial’s actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by its forward-looking statements and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them. Imperial undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein, except as required by applicable law.

Amii Innovates launches, guides AI adoption in Alberta businesses

Amii announces first cohort of Innovation Affiliates, unveils program offerings

EDMONTON, AB (September 12, 2019) – The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) is pleased to announce the launch of Amii Innovates, a program which guides teams and businesses on the path to AI adoption. One of four program areas within Amii, Amii Innovates works closely with Alberta-based businesses to grow their internal machine intelligence capabilities.

Amii’s Innovation Affiliates were chosen through a highly selective application process based on their readiness for machine intelligence adoption and potential for commercial success. Amii has worked collaboratively with these 23 companies over the past year, four of which have already become alumni.

“We’re proud to work with organizations that understand the transformative potential of machine intelligence across every sector, and who are working to innovate within their industries,” says John Shillington, President and CEO of Amii. “We strongly believe that machine intelligence will be the primary driver of sustainable growth for Alberta’s economy, and that this program will help bring our province’s bright future into focus.”

“In keeping with the high standard of providing leading edge trading software, our company is pleased to have partnered with Amii to work towards expanding our internal AI capacity,” says Tim Gunn, President of Net Energy Exchange (NE2). “Working with Amii has substantially expanded our company’s knowledge in the area of Machine Learning. This knowledge has enabled our company to begin hiring and training our own AI support team, paving our way into the future.”

The first cohort of Innovation Affiliates includes:

  • 2S Water
  • AIMCo (alumnus)
  • Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (alumnus)
  • ARC Resources
  • The Climate Corporation (alumnus)
  • Cognitive Diagnosis
  • Dot Technology Corp.
  • Drugbank
  • EHS Analytics
  • FORCORP Solutions
  • Frettable
  • Hoot Research
  • Imperial Oil Limited
  • Integral Engineering
  • Medo.AI
  • Mikata Health Inc.
  • Net Energy Exchange (NE2)
  • SAM
  • Shell Scotford Refinery (alumnus)
  • Synauta Inc.
  • Testfire Labs
  • Willowglen Systems Inc.

To mark the occasion, Amii will bring together Innovation Affiliates and members of business and technology communities for Amii Innovates launch events in Edmonton and Calgary. These special events will spotlight the first cohort of Innovation Affiliates, feature other Amii partner businesses, and officially unveil the Amii Innovates program offerings.


About Amii: One of Canada’s leading AI institutes, Amii drives advanced research in machine intelligence at the University of Alberta and other academic institutions and leverages scientific expertise to advance state-of-the-art industry research, enable businesses to build their internal machine learning capabilities and grow Alberta’s AI workforce. Visit for more information, or view our fact sheet.

Editor’s note: In the initial release, we reported that we had been working with 24 companies; this number is actually 23. We apologize for the miscommunication.

What is Machine Intelligence?

Existing at the intersection of machine learning and artificial intelligence, machine intelligence is advanced computing that enables a machine to interact with its environment in an intelligent way.

Amii specializes in the research and development of machine learning technologies, including their application in artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a set of algorithms, processes and methodologies that allow a computer system to perform tasks that would normally require human-level intelligence. AI can appear as a component in a larger system or in the form of a computer application, digital agent or autonomous machine.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a field of computing science focused around developing algorithms that enable a computer system to independently learn from, and continuously adapt to, data without being explicitly programmed for that data. Machine learning is a crucial component in many artificial intelligence systems.

Where is Machine Learning Used?
  • Recommender systems (e.g. Netflix or Amazon)
  • Contextual web searches (e.g. Google)
  • Intelligent digital assistants (e.g. Cortana or Siri)
  • Game-playing AI (e.g. AlphaGo or Cepheus)
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Email spam filters
Why is Machine Intelligence Important?

Recently, machine intelligence technologies have experienced a global resurgence due to growing volumes and varieties of data, the utility of this data in training smart systems and an increased awareness of the value of data in providing a competitive edge in business.

Machine intelligence is expected to form the basis for most technological and business advancements for years to come. According to a report issued by McKinsey & Company, technologies that employ machine intelligence will have created over $50 trillion in economic impact by the year 2025.

How Can Machine Intelligence Enhance My Business?

Machine intelligence allows organizations to operate more efficiently and effectively, using data to predict the future and manage the present.

Computer systems with machine intelligence can perform a variety of tasks:

  • Optimize and automate processes
  • Extract and classify data
  • Detect, analyze and predict trends/patterns
  • Enhance interaction with humans/the environment

Want to bring machine intelligence to your business? Visit our Innovation Affiliates program.