Community & Events

Event Round-Up | May 2019

Amii Events

Meet members of the Amii team, connect with like-minded people, and learn the latest about what’s happening in Machine Intelligence at Amii events! Here’s where we’ll be this month:

Hello Amii! Info Session

Hello Amii! is your introduction to the Amii Innovates program and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. Learn how our experts can guide your teams and processes to help build your machine intelligence capabilities and propel your business to the next level. We want to help you go beyond small-scale AI projects and jumpstart your in-house ability to develop your own plans around artificial intelligence and machine learning and drive the next stage of growth for your business.

Join us at Hello Amii! and discover how our team of expert Machine Learning Advisors and Applied Scientists can help your organization gain the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a transformational shift in the way your teams think about data and decision making.

Dates:

May 21 – Calgary
Register today!
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
The Inc. at Platform Calgary (formerly Calgary Technologies Inc.)
3553 31 St NW
Calgary, AB T2L 2K7

May 30 – Edmonton
Register today!
12 – 1 p.m.
Amii HQ
#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1

Machine Learning 101

Heralded by many as the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has inspired countless news articles, novels, and films. With this deluge of information comes hopes and aspirations, fears and misconceptions – some justified and others not.

How can we make sense of it all?

Join Amii as we pull back the curtain on AI and lay a pragmatic foundation for what AI is, what it isn’t, and how you can begin to think about the place of AI in your business.

May 28 – Edmonton
Register today!
12 – 1 p.m.
Amii HQ
#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1


AI Seminars

Keep up to date on research coming out of the University of Alberta and beyond! The Artificial Intelligence Seminar is a weekly meeting where researchers interested in AI can share their research. Presenters include both local speakers from the University of Alberta and visitors from other institutions. Topics related in any way to Artificial Intelligence can be presented, from foundational theoretical work to innovative applications of AI techniques to new fields and problems.

Organized by and hosted at the University of Alberta, each AI Seminar happens (unless otherwise specified) at 12 – 1 pm in the Computing Science Center, CSC B-10 (floorplan). Plus, pizza is provided for all attendees!

May 10: Nathan Stutervant

More info to come

May 17: Bradley Hauer

Speaker: Bradley Hauer

Title: Theoretical and Empirical Advancements in Computational Lexical Semantics

Abstract: This presentation will summarize two recent studies investigating important problems in computational lexical semantics: most frequent sense detection, and homonymy classification. In the first part, Bradley discusses the use of two sources of semantic information: the most frequently co-occurring words (companions), and the most frequent translation. He presents two novel methods that incorporates these concepts and advances the state of the art. In the second part, he proposes four hypotheses that characterize the unique behavior of homonyms in the context of translations, discourses, collocations, and sense clusters. The results of the experiments using a new annotated homonym resource provide strong empirical evidence for the hypotheses. This study represents a step towards a computational method for distinguishing between homonymy and polysemy, and constructing a definitive inventory of coarse-grained senses.

Bio: Bradley Hauer is a doctoral student at the University of Alberta Department of Computing Science, working with Greg Kondrak. He has published papers on a wide variety of topics, including generating phonetic spellings of words, identifying translations of words from unstructured text, and analyzing a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown script. His current research is focused on foundational issues of lexical semantics. His most recent paper was nominated for the IEEE ICSC 2019 Best Paper Award.

May 24: Ilbin Lee

More info to come

Keep up to date with the AI Seminars by subscribing to the AI Seminar Speakers Google Calendar.


In the Community

Members of the Amii team are proud to support Alberta’s innovation community. You can find us at the following events:

Edmonton – Women in Machine Learning & Data Science: Large Scale Data Remediation in Finance

WiMLDS’s mission is to support and promote women and gender minorities who are practicing, studying or are interested in the fields of machine learning and data science. This month’s event features Rhys Chouinard, Data Scientist at ATB Financial (Large Scale Data Remediation in Finance – A Full Stack OCR Journey) and Tara Petrie, Machine Learning Educator at Amii (Math in Machine Learning: Some Fundamentals).

May 14
Reserve Your Spot!
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Startup Edmonton
#301, 10359 104 St NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

Edmonton – Telus World of Science Dark Matters: Game On!

Dark Matters is an 18+ event, where the science is served on the rocks & the adults come out to play. This month marks the return of a Dark Matters fan favourite: GAME ON! Guests will battle it out for first place, test their strategy and hone skills. Not to mention, we’ll be exploring the math, technology, and physics behind everyone’s favourite games. Become a game-master, you know you wanna! Some highlights include:
– Board Game Café hosted by Table Top Café
– Video games in the IMAX Theatre
– Improv games hosted by Amii’s Kory Mathewson

May 16
Buy tickets!
6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
11211 142 St NW
Edmonton, AB T5M 4A1

Calgary – TECTERRA Industry Panel: Constructing a Business Development Strategy

Business Development combines sales, partnerships, brand development and even media engagement. But how do new business owners develop a comprehensive business development strategy, while also thinking of financials and operations? During this luncheon session, hear from individuals with a variety of backgrounds on what techniques have worked for their business model, and how you can apply them to your development plan. Lunch will be provided to attendees. Panelists Include:
– Moderator: Richard Gorecki, Director of Portfolio Development, TECTERRA
– Tammy Peterson, VP, Marketing & Communications, Solv3D
– Spencer Murray, Director, Communications & Public Relations, Amii
– Desiree Bombenon, CEO & Cheif Innovation Officer, SureCall

May 28
Register today!
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Nucleus, Calgary
100 6 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2G 2C4

Community & Events

Event Round-Up | April 2019

Amii Events

Meet members of the Amii team, connect with like-minded people, and learn the latest about what’s happening in Machine Intelligence at Amii events! Here’s where we’ll be this month:

Hello Amii! Info Session

Hello Amii! is your introduction to the Amii Innovates program and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. Learn how our experts can guide your teams and processes to help build your machine intelligence capabilities and propel your business to the next level. We want to help you go beyond small-scale AI projects and jumpstart your in-house ability to develop your own plans around artificial intelligence and machine learning and drive the next stage of growth for your business.

Join us at Hello Amii! and discover how our team of expert Machine Learning Advisors and Applied Scientists can help your organization gain the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a transformational shift in the way your teams think about data and decision making.

Dates:

April 25 – Edmonton
Register today!
12 – 1 p.m.
Amii HQ
#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1

April 30 – Calgary
Register today!
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Global Business Centre, Terrace View Room
5th Floor – 120 8 Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2G 0K6

Amii’s AI Meetup

Amii’s monthly meetup brings together the brightest minds in Edmonton’s AI community. Discuss the latest topics in AI and machine learning, learn about the latest tools and techniques in machine learning, discover how companies are using AI to drive value, and network with thought leaders from Amii, local AI companies, service providers, and corporate labs. Join us for Amii’s monthly AI Meetup and be a part of building Edmonton’s growing AI community!

April 29
Register today!
5:15 – 7:15 p.m.
Startup Edmonton
#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest
Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9


April AI Seminars

Keep up to date on research coming out of the University of Alberta and beyond! The Artificial Intelligence Seminar is a weekly meeting where researchers interested in AI can share their research. Presenters include both local speakers from the University of Alberta and visitors from other institutions. Topics related in any way to Artificial Intelligence can be presented, from foundational theoretical work to innovative applications of AI techniques to new fields and problems.

Organized by and hosted at the University of Alberta, each AI Seminar happens (unless otherwise specified) at 12 – 1 pm in the Computing Science Center, CSC B-10 (floorplan). Plus, pizza is provided for all attendees!

April 26: Dr. Mo Chen

Speaker: Dr. Mo Chen

Title: Reachability-Based Robotic Safety and Reinforcement Learning

Abstract: Autonomous systems are becoming pervasive in everyday life, and many of these systems are safety-critical and complex. To provide safety guarantees, formal verification methods such as reachability analysis are needed. However, verification is computationally intractable for complex systems. During this seminar, Dr. Chen presents recent techniques that leverage system structure to make reachability analysis tractable, and discusses recent advances in effectively incorporating prior knowledge about robotic systems to greatly improve sample complexity.

Speaker Bio: Mo Chen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University, BC, where he directs the Multi-Agent Robotic Systems Lab. He completed his PhD in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at the University of California, Berkeley with Claire Tomlin in 2017, and received his BASc in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia in 2011. From 2017 to 2018, Mo was a postdoctoral researcher in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department in Stanford University with Marco Pavone. His research interests include multi-agent systems, safety-critical systems, reinforcement learning, and human-robot interactions.

Keep up to date with the AI Seminars by subscribing to the AI Seminar Speakers Google Calendar.

Personal assistants. Automation. Smart homes. Hailed by many as the fourth industrial revolution, machine intelligence is bringing remarkable changes everywhere – Canada included. We are fortunate to have places like Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto leading the way as Canada’s major centres for artificial intelligence. Notably, they are also home to some of Canada’s most exciting AI events.

If you want to learn how to harness the technologies that are shaping our future, here are three Canadian AI events you should consider checking out in the coming months:

World Summit AI Americas (americas.worldsummit.ai)
April 10 – 11, 2019 | Montreal, QC
World Summit AI has made it across the pond! The series with the world’s largest and most active AI community (over 40,000 members from the global AI ecosystem) is hosting the first World Summit AI Americas in Montreal this April. This event promises two full days of mind-boggling innovation, animated discussions on AI4good, applied solutions for enterprise, hands-on workshops and the development of plans for advancing the application of AI in the coming year. To learn more and purchase a ticket, visit the World Summit AI Americas page; use promo “AMII15” for 15% off your ticket.

SingularityU Canada Summit (sucanada.org/summit2019)
April 23 – 24, 2019 | Edmonton, AB
After a smashing Toronto debut in 2017, SingularityU Canada Summit lands in Edmonton this April. A mixture of keynote discussions, panel presentations, product demos, workshops, and breakout sessions, this conference shares the best of Canadian and international technology. Learn about the transformative impact that technologies like artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and digital medicine will have on our lives and our world. To learn more and purchase a ticket, visit the Singularity U Canada Summit page; use promo “AmiiSUDIS20” for 20% off your ticket.

Big Data & AI Toronto
July 22-24, 2019 | Toronto, ON
Big Data and AI Toronto aims to address the greatest business challenges technology leaders are facing today. Industry sessions, keynote discussions and panel presentations explore the future of work in multiple industries. Visit the Big Data & AI Toronto registration page to purchase your ticket.

Whether you are a curious beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s lots of (machine) learning to be had this year!

Bonus Event:
The Summer Institute (dlrlsummerschool.ca/the-summer-institute/)
July 21-24, 2019 | Edmonton, AB
If you are passionate about understanding and shaping the relationship between AI and society, consider applying to attend the Summer Institute on AI and Society. A combination of lectures, panels, and participatory problem-solving, this intimate interdisciplinary event aims to build understanding and action around the most important issues facing AI. Visit the Summer Institute page for more information.

CIFAR, the AI PULSE program at UCLA School of Law, and Amii are thrilled to host the inaugural Summer Institute on AI and Society in Edmonton this July 21 – 24, 2019.

Summer Institute brings together experts, grad students and researchers of all backgrounds to explore the societal, governmental, and ethical implications of AI. A combination of lectures, panels, and participatory problem-solving, this comprehensive and interdisciplinary event aims to build understanding and action around these high-stakes topics.

Summer Institute takes place right before Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School and will include a combined event on July 24th for both Summer Institute and Summer School participants.

We spoke with one of the co-organizers of Summer Institute, UCLA School of Law professor Edward Parson, to talk about the origins of the event, what themes and topics might be covered, and why you should apply now. Check out what he had to say below:

Please note: this interview has been edited and condensed for space

Tell us about how you became interested in AI and its societal impact.

My main professional background has been in environment, energy and related policy areas. But because of my partial scientific and technical training, I’ve always had a central interest in technology and those areas – what it does, what forces determine how it changes, how, if at all, societies can get the benefits and limit the harms, and how that works. That was the bridge to thinking about AI.

How did you get involved in the Summer Institute?

Last year when I was on a sabbatical year at the University of Victoria, I became aware of CIFAR’s program supporting AI and related initiatives. And in particular, CIFAR’s interest in broadening its support from technical issues of AI out to societal impacts, regulatory, and governance issues. After speaking with them and then consulting with a couple of Canadian colleagues who are more on the technical side of AI – Alona Fyshe and Dan Lizotte – we submitted a proposal, it was approved, and we’re going forward with the three of us co-directing the institute, with joint support from CIFAR and from my project here at UCLA.

Can you tell us more about this project at UCLA?

It’s an outgrowth of a longer-standing activity at UCLA Law School that’s been on Science Technology in Law, called the AI PULSE Program. We’re looking at ways to think through potential impacts that are sort of intermediate in scale and time horizon. We’re looking for ways to get reasonably disciplined hooks on what the impacts might be five, 10, 20 years out, and how to anticipate, assess, and forestall the most disruptive and harmful aspects of those.

This also characterizes my main interest for the Summer Institute. But I’m one of three co-organizers. My two co-organizers’ interests come mainly from the side of technical aspects of AI. They’re more concerned with developing useful ethical guidelines that students and practitioners of AI and machine learning might observe in their current practice. So we expect to be covering a range of issues.

What do you believe the benefit is of the Summer Institute for attendees?

To be involved in conversations on these fascinating topics that don’t have a lot of place for consideration in the normal curriculum. Networking among a bunch of people with similar interests on issues that are likely to be really important and recurrent over time. And I expect it’ll be really interesting and fun.

What important ethics and societal implications should AI practitioners pay attention to?

AI is the weirdest technology in the world. I’ve spent decades studying social impacts of technology in all kinds of domains. AI is unlike any other technology that I’ve thought about before because nobody knows what it is. It is so diffused, so fuzzy in its boundaries, so diverse in the different strains of capability that contribute to what’s going on presently. And so limitless in the things it might be used for.

What might AI do? It might enable things that are not presently possible. It might enable an extraordinary advance in environmental protection management. It might displace human ingenuity, or augment human ingenuity, in dozens of fields of scientific and technological research. Some weeks ago, a new machine learning program out of DeepMind in London won the annual world competition for protein folding projections. It’s sort of like what happened to the Go masters just happened to the protein scientists.

On the other hand, things that become possible through technological advance often get done even if we disapprove. One of my colleagues who thinks about this stuff, Allen Dafoe at Oxford, has thrown out the slogan that “one of the social risks of AI is robust totalitarianism.” Comprehensive surveillance with perfect facial and human individual recognition and omnipresent information about everything you think, do, and say. In the hands of a tyrannical regime.

AI is big stuff. It is big, historical stuff. The possibility of capabilities that really fundamentally disrupt employment and livelihood and labour markets, that fundamentally disrupt the functioning of the state, that fundamentally disrupt the functioning of the economy, and every sub-sector thereof for good and ill.

The potential benefits are enormous, but even they will come with enormous disruption. So if we all get to move to a Jetsons world where we’re at leisure all day and the machines do the work, that might be really nice. But it will explode a bunch of foundations of social order. These are all the things we need to talk about at Summer Institute.

What aspects of its implications do you think are not being paid enough attention?

It’s the medium term – what happens five steps down the line, and how we can get any handle on thinking about that beforehand. To make an environment that makes it likely that people get the benefits and don’t get the worst harms from those rapid changes.

What are you most looking forward to about Summer Institute?

Talking about all this fabulous stuff with a bunch of really interesting and engaged people from all over the place spatially, and from all over the place in terms of intellectual background and how they think.

Interested in attending? Applications for the Summer Institute are open until midnight on May 15!

Visit dlrlsummerschool.ca/the-summer-institute for more information and to apply today.
Your Introduction to Amii

Hello Amii! is your introduction to the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and our Applied Machine Learning team.

Learn how our experts can guide your teams and processes to help propel your business to the next level using machine intelligence. We want to take you beyond small-scale AI projects that will have a local impact in your company and jumpstart your thinking around the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can help drive the next stage of growth for your business.

Join us at Hello Amii! and discover how our team of expert Machine Learning Advisors can help you gain the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a transformational shift in the way your teams think about data and decision making.

Event Information

Register today!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Amii HQ

#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1

Community & Events

Amii’s AI Meetup – March 26

Meet the Brightest Minds in Edmonton’s AI Community

Amii’s monthly meetup brings together the brightest minds in Edmonton’s AI community.

Discuss the latest topics in AI and machine learning (ML), learn about the latest tools and techniques in ML, discover how companies are using AI to drive value, and network with thought leaders from Amii, local AI companies, service providers, and corporate labs.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from Brad Wrobleski and Greg Burlet this AI Meetup. Brad, a researcher and developer at the University of Calgary, will be discussing his research with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and practical applications of reinforcement learning (RL) for communicating information and photography. Greg will demo the company he founded, Frettable, and speak about how to deploy and scale ML to service worldwide market.

Join us for Amii’s monthly AI Meetup and be a part of building Edmonton’s growing AI community!

Event Information

Register today!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

5:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Startup Edmonton

#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest

Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

Your Introduction to Amii

Hello Amii! is your introduction to the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and our Applied Machine Learning team.

Learn how our experts can guide your teams and processes to help propel your business to the next level using machine intelligence. We want to take you beyond small-scale AI projects that will have a local impact in your company and jumpstart your thinking around the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can help drive the next stage of growth for your business.

Join us at Hello Amii! and discover how our team of expert Machine Learning Advisors can help you gain the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a transformational shift in the way your teams think about data and decision making.

Event Information

Register today!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

12 – 1 p.m.

Amii HQ

#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1

Make Sense of Machine Learning

Heralded by many as the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has inspired countless news articles, novels, and films. With this deluge of information comes hopes and aspirations, fears and misconceptions – some justified and others not.

How can we make sense of it all? 

Join Amii as we pull back the curtain on AI and lay a pragmatic foundation for what AI is, what it isn’t, and how you can begin to think about the place of AI in your business.

Event Information

Register today!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

12 – 1 p.m.

Startup Edmonton

#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest

Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

Community & Events

YEG Tech Night – March 8

Join your friends in Edmonton’s tech community

Join your friends in Edmonton’s tech community for an evening of entertainment and fun!

Work Nicer has generously agreed to host us for Drink Nicer, and afterwards, we’ll check out Rapid Fire Theatre’s Theatresports at the Citadel!

Theatresports, which pits two teams of Rapid Fire Theatre’s best improvisers against each other for the love of the audience, is Edmonton’s longest-running improv show – now in its 38th season!

Please feel free to bring your significant others, colleagues and anyone in Edmonton’s tech community!

The details:

Purchase tickets for $5!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Anytime after 4pm – Drinks at Work Nicer (Beaver House: 10160 103 St NW)

7pm SHARP – Arrive at the Citadel (9828 101A Ave NW)

7:30pm to 9:15pm – Theatresports

As a courtesy to Rapid Fire, we ask everyone to be at the Citadel no later than 7pm so that our group can be seated in an organized fashion before the show begins.

Sponsors:
Air Trail Logo
Drivewyze Logo
dealcloser logo
worknicer logo
Make Sense of Machine Learning

Heralded by many as the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has inspired countless news articles, novels, and films. With this deluge of information comes hopes and aspirations, fears and misconceptions – some justified and others not.

How can we make sense of it all? 

Join Amii as we pull back the curtain on AI and lay a pragmatic foundation for what AI is, what it isn’t, and how you can begin to think about the place of AI in your business.

Event Information

Register today!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

12 – 1 p.m.

Startup Edmonton

#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest

Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

Meet the Brightest Minds in Edmonton’s AI Community

Amii’s monthly meetup brings together the brightest minds in Edmonton’s AI community.

Discuss the latest topics in AI and machine learning, learn about the latest tools and techniques in machine learning, discover how companies are using AI to drive value, and network with thought leaders from Amii, local AI companies, service providers, and corporate labs.

This month’s talk features Johannes Günther presenting a modular, ML-based control approach to industrial laser welding using deep learning and reinforcement learning techniques, and Dornoosh Zonoobi from MEDO.ai, who will explore how ML & AI can radically simplify the way ultrasound scans are performed and interpreted, enabling any caregiver to make an accurate & confident diagnosis.

Join us for Amii’s monthly AI Meetup and be a part of building Edmonton’s growing AI community!

Event Information

Register today!

Monday, February 25, 2019

5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Startup Edmonton

#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest

Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

Your Introduction to Amii

Hello Amii! is your introduction to the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and our Applied Machine Learning team.

Learn how our experts can guide your teams and processes to help propel your business to the next level using machine intelligence. We want to take you beyond small-scale AI projects that will have a local impact in your company and jumpstart your thinking around the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can help drive the next stage of growth for your business.

Join us at Hello Amii! and discover how our team of expert Machine Learning Advisors can help you gain the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a transformational shift in the way your teams think about data and decision making.

Event Information

Register today!

Monday, March 4, 2019

5 – 6 p.m.

Nucleus Calgary

100 6 Avenue Southwest

Calgary, AB T2G 2C4

Your Introduction to Amii

Hello Amii! is your introduction to the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and our Applied Machine Learning team.

Learn how our experts can guide your teams and processes to help propel your business to the next level using machine intelligence. We want to take you beyond small-scale AI projects that will have a local impact in your company and jumpstart your thinking around the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can help drive the next stage of growth for your business.

Join us at Hello Amii! and discover how our team of expert Machine Learning Advisors can help you gain the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a transformational shift in the way your teams think about data and decision making.

Event Information

Register today!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

12 – 1 p.m.

Amii HQ

#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1

Lunch is provided!

Community & Events

AI Seminars – February 2019

Keep up to date on research coming out of the University of Alberta and beyond!

The Artificial Intelligence Seminar is a weekly meeting where researchers interested in AI can share their research. Presenters include both local speakers from the University of Alberta and visitors from other institutions. Topics related in any way to Artificial Intelligence can be presented, from foundational theoretical work to innovative applications of AI techniques to new fields and problems.

Each AI Seminar happens (unless otherwise specified) at 12 – 1 pm at the University of Alberta Computing Science Center, CSC B-10 (click here for a floorplan). Plus, pizza is provided for all attendees!

Here are the AI Seminars happening in February 2019:

February 8: Ilbin and Bo

Speaker 1: Ilbin Lee

Title: Introducing some Machine Learning Research Projects in Wildfire and Healthcare Applications

Abstract:
In this talk, Ilbin Lee will briefly introduce machine learning projects in wildfire and hospital operations. These two projects involve the use of machine intelligence models to predict risk and therefore increase the likelihood of successful intervention.

Bio: Ilbin Lee is an assistant professor in operations management at the University of Alberta School of Business. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. He obtained his PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2015. His research interests include sequential decision-making based on data and prediction, computational optimization, and wildfire and healthcare applications.

Speaker 2: Bo Cao

Title: Machine Learning Applied to Psychiatric Disorders Understanding

Abstract: Bo Cao will talk about several studies using machine learning and brain imaging to understand psychiatric disorders, identify patients with these disorders and predict the treatment outcomes.

Bio: Bo Cao is trained in mathematics (BSc), psychology (MSc), computational neuroscience (PhD), neuroimaging and psychiatry (postdoc), and has a strong passion for understanding the fundamental mechanisms of how the brain works and how to cure the brain when the mechanisms are disturbed. He currently is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta.

February 15

More details to come

February 22: Hengshuai Yao

Title: ACE: An Actor Ensemble Algorithm for Continuous Control with Tree Search

Abstract: In this seminar, Hengshuai Yao presents a paper which he co-authored with Shangtong Zhang and Hao Chen, regarding propose actor ensemble algorithm, named ACE, for continuous control with a deterministic policy in reinforcement learning. This paper was accepted by the AAAI 2019 Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Bio: Hengshuai studied reinforcement learning at Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence (RLAI) lab from 2008 to 2015 in a PhD program at Department of Computing Science (supervised by Csaba Szepesvári), University of Alberta. His thesis is on model-based reinforcement learning with linear function approximation. He joined NCSoft game studio in San Francisco in 2016 working on reinforcement learning in games. He moved back to Canada in 2017 and joined Huawei Noah’s Ark Lab. Right now he is working on reinforcement learning and robotics.

BONUS Seminar
February 22, 2 – 3 pm: Marc Bellemare

Location: CSC 3-33

Title: A geometric perspective on optimal representations in reinforcement learning

Abstract: In reinforcement learning, an important component of an agent is its representation of state: how it encodes raw state inputs into features that are useful to the process of decision-making. This talk presents some recent work on what constitutes a good representation, especially in the context of deep reinforcement learning, where the representation itself can be adapted to minimize prediction error.

Bio: Marc G. Bellemare is a research scientist at Google Brain in Montreal, Canada; CIFAR Learning in Machines & Brain Fellow; adjunct professor at McGill University; and was recently awarded a Canada CIFAR AI chair, held at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (Mila). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta where he studied the concept of domain-independent agents and developed the highly-successful Arcade Learning Environment, the platform for AI research on Atari 2600 games. From 2013 to 2017 he was a research scientist at DeepMind where he made major contributions to the field of deep reinforcement learning.


Are you interested in presenting at an AI Seminar? If so, please contact the current organizer, Juliano Rabelo, at rabelo@ualberta.ca.

Creating AI Strategy for Innovation Affiliates

Come find out Amii’s approach to creating AI strategy for our Innovation Affiliates.

We’ll discuss the data maturity you need to begin an AI initiative, how to develop your internal capacity to tackle disruptive industry questions, and finally, how sound change management concepts will tie all of your efforts together.

Please note that a basic knowledge of machine intelligence is required to understand this session.

Event Information

Register today!

Friday, February 22, 2019

12 – 1 p.m.

Amii HQ

#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1

Amii and CIFAR are thrilled to host the Deep Learning & Reinforcement Learning Summer School in Edmonton this July 24 – August 2.

The Summer School brings together graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and industry professionals to explore the latest AI techniques and advancements, build their research networks and open new opportunities for collaboration. Participants learn directly from world-renowned AI researchers including Richard Sutton, Yoshua Bengio and Martha White. Other programming includes an AI Career Fair and social events around town.

DLRL Summer School 2018 - Rear view of classroom
DLRL Summer School 2018 in Toronto
Photo credit: Vector Institute and CIFAR

To give this year’s attendees an idea of what to expect for this year’s Summer School, we asked three of last year’s attendees to tell us about their experiences and what they found valuable. Check out what they had to say below:

1. Why did you decide to apply for the 2018 Deep Learning & Reinforcement Learning Summer School?

Katya: The [Summer School] is an incredible opportunity to meet distinguished researchers in the field face-to-face, get the latest cutting-edge research and, no less important, to connect and meet fellow students, find out what they are working on and discuss potential collaborative projects. This past year we had people from the University of Toronto, Université de Montréal, McGill, University of Alberta, CMU, MIT, Stanford, Google, Duke.

Matthew: When the application went up, I was actually informed by several of my lab mates that the Summer School was something that would be extremely valuable in my future research. There was also quite a big push to apply in the RLAI [editor’s note: Reinforcement Learning & Artificial Intelligence] Lab here at University of Alberta. I joined in and was even more excited once I saw the list of speakers.

Raksha: I was aware of various summer schools, but I’d never gotten a chance to attend one. So in late winter of 2018, when I heard about the [Summer School] happening in Toronto, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. The list of speakers for the school were distinguished researchers in the area, plus the RL school component, the positive reviews from peers who had been to the 2017 version, and encouragement to attend by professors in the department, made it very exciting – and I decided to apply to it!

2. What did you enjoy most about the event?

Katya: People. The brain power and diversity of research backgrounds in the room were fascinating. It was also valuable that the timetable had plenty of time for networking, i.e. over lunch.

Matthew: I was struck by the amazing talent of all the participants and how many were from fields outside machine learning and reinforcement learning. Some of my favorite conversations were with physicists who were looking to apply deep learning or reinforcement learning to model the dynamics of particular physical systems. There was also a lot of opportunity to connect with people from around the world. Learning about the many avenues of research explored is awe-inspiring and a reminder that my own interests are a minuscule part of the picture.

Raksha: As the focus is both on deep learning and reinforcement learning, it was a great opportunity for me, a person who works in reinforcement learning, to get insight into state-of-the-art research in deep learning and hear different perspectives about reinforcement learning. Additionally, it was really nice to meet and interact with the extended peer/research community in a more school-like setting!

3. Did the Summer School affect your career and/or research trajectory? If so, how?

Katya: Terrific impact. During one of the breaks, we sat down with Rich Sutton and discussed a new project. As a result of that discussion, four months later, I am visiting the RLAI group at the University of Alberta and working with Rich on this project, which becomes an intersection of the NLP and RL. This is a great example where a conversation turned into a mind-blowing experience – and not because of the winter in Alberta (I am from Siberia!) – but by being in the “mecca of RL” and having an opportunity to learn from Rich and the group.

Matthew: I would say it emboldened my research trajectory. My interests are still the same — i.e using reinforcement learning to make predictions of the world through interactions — but I am more excited about this topic and how it relates to the wider AI community. The scope of my research has also widened. While before I was very narrow in what I thought was the way forward, I am now looking towards many communities I had not considered (or was even aware of!).

Raksha: [The] chance to discuss my research with some leading researchers, listen to their experiences and thoughts about what’s to come and where we are headed, meet and interact with peers who are pursuing interesting problems in their research, etc., has been very inspiring!

4. What was the most valuable thing you learned or experienced at the event?

Katya: Being able to connect with people and learn from them … [S]uch as having an opportunity to ask Graham Neubig hundreds of questions and get most practical answers, learning about RLAI Lab from the people in that group and connecting with people there, being deeply inspired by Martha White and Jamie Kiros.

Matthew: I found the most value in how my view on the field was expanded. The exposure of ideas and topics that I hadn’t yet seen sparked many ideas that I want to explore in my future research. It gave me perspective on the massive amount of work that is still left, but with that the many interesting topics still unexplored.

Raksha: I have always heard about the general [Deep Learning/Reinforcement Learning] community being large and diverse, but this was my first hands-on experience of it. It was invaluable to meet and interact with peers from various countries! The Summer School was filled with energy from day one — and we got a sneak-peak into the breadth of research in the community, in a classroom-like setting, which was really valuable!

Visit dlrlsummerschool.ca for more information.
Your Introduction to Amii

Hello Amii! is your introduction to the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and our Applied Machine Learning team.

Learn how our experts can guide your teams and processes to help propel your business to the next level using machine intelligence. We want to take you beyond small-scale AI projects that will have a local impact in your company and jumpstart your thinking around the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can help drive the next stage of growth for your business.

Join us at Hello Amii! and discover how our team of expert Machine Learning Advisors can help you gain the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to create a transformational shift in the way your teams think about data and decision making.

Event Information

Register today!

Thursday, February 7, 2019
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Amii HQ
#1101, 10065 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3B1

Meet the Brightest Minds in Edmonton’s AI Community

Amii’s monthly meetup brings together the brightest minds in Edmonton’s AI community.

Discuss the latest topics in AI and machine learning, learn about the latest tools and techniques in machine learning, discover how companies are using AI to drive value, and network with thought leaders from Amii, local AI companies, service providers, and corporate labs.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from Nadia Ady and Sean Feehanat this AI Meetup. Nadia (from Amii) is an expert on curiosity and Sean is leading the team at Drivewyze as they integrate AI into their fast-growth SaaS business.

Join us for Amii’s monthly AI Meetup and be a part of building Edmonton’s growing AI community!

Event Information

Register today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Startup Edmonton
#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest
Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

Make Sense of Machine Learning

Heralded by many as the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has inspired countless news articles, novels, and films. With this deluge of information comes hopes and aspirations, fears and misconceptions – some justified and others not.

How can we make sense of it all? 

Join Amii as we pull back the curtain on AI and lay a pragmatic foundation for what AI is, what it isn’t, and how you can begin to think about the place of AI in your business.

Event Information

Register today!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
12 – 1 p.m.

Startup Edmonton
#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest
Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

About DLRL Summer School

Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School brings together graduate students, post-docs and professionals to cover the foundational research, new developments, and real-world applications of deep learning and reinforcement learning. Participants learn directly from world-renowned researchers and lecturers. Related extracurricular activities will include an AI Career Fair, industry and partner-sponsored events, as well as tourism events.

The event is aimed at graduate students, postdocs, and industry professionals who already have some basic knowledge of machine learning (and possibly but not necessarily of deep learning and reinforcement learning) and wish to learn more about this rapidly growing field of research. Participants should have advanced prior training in computer science and mathematics.

The 2019 DLRLSS is hosted by the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR) and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), with participation and support from the Vector Institute and the Institut québécois d’intelligence artificielle (Mila).

Event Information

Applications are now open! Please visit https://dlrlsummerschool.ca to apply.

July 24 – August 2, 2019
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Make Sense of Machine Learning

Heralded by many as the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has inspired countless news articles, novels, and films. With this deluge of information comes hopes and aspirations, fears and misconceptions – some justified and others not.

How can we make sense of it all? 

Join Amii as we pull back the curtain on AI and lay a pragmatic foundation for what AI is, what it isn’t, and how you can begin to think about the place of AI in your business.

Event Information

Register today!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The Global Business Centre
136 8th Ave SE
Terrace View Room (5th floor)
Calgary, AB

Make Sense of Machine Learning

Heralded by many as the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has inspired countless news articles, novels, and films. With this deluge of information comes hopes and aspirations, fears and misconceptions – some justified and others not.

How can we make sense of it all? 

Join Amii as we pull back the curtain on AI and lay a pragmatic foundation for what AI is, what it isn’t, and how you can begin to think about the place of AI in your business.

Event Information

Register today!

Monday, December 17, 2018
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Startup Edmonton
#301, 10359 104 Street Northwest
Edmonton, Alberta

Make Sense of Machine Learning

Heralded by many as the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has inspired countless news articles, novels, and films. With this deluge of information comes hopes and aspirations, fears and misconceptions – some justified and others not.

How can we make sense of it all? 

Join Amii as we pull back the curtain on AI and lay a pragmatic foundation for what AI is, what it isn’t, and how you can begin to think about the place of AI in your business.

Register today!