May News: New board members & Rich Sutton elected to The Royal Society

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I hope you had a great weekend enjoying the Alberta sun! Something else has been shining extra bright, too: the spotlight on the Edmonton tech and innovation community. This month, we are seeing the University of Alberta Innovation Generator campaign, the Edify Edmonton Innovation Issue and accompanying video feature, and the first YEG Startup Awards. To all of our friends and partners featured and involved in these initiatives: we celebrate you!

We have also had a lively Spring so far, from setting up internships to kicking off partnerships. There are two things in particular that we are excited about:

Photo collage of new board members

We are pleased to welcome five new additions to our board of directors! The new directors bring experience from the business and venture capital communities, as well as from technology startups and the public sector. A big welcome to Zarina Bhambhani, Joan Hertz, John Knubley, Josh Pantony and Todd Simpson.

Dr. Richard Sutton, Chief Scientific Advisor at Amii

Richard S. Sutton (Fellow, Canada CIFAR AI Chair & Chief Scientific Advisor at Amii; Professor, University of Alberta) has received the well-deserved honour of being elected as a fellow of the venerable Royal Society -- the world’s oldest national scientific institution. Rich joins the ranks of such pioneering scientists as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

There are lots of great things coming this spring and summer. Take a peek below for opportunities to get involved. And, as always, reach out to our team if you need help taking your first steps into AI adoption.

See you over video chat soon,  

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May Highlights: Research, Industry, Community and Training

Industry & Community Updates:

  • Watch the April Virtual AI Meetup recap, featuring two of Amii’s own! Andy Wong speaks on methods to predictively allocate maintenance activities, and Spencer Murray summarizes Amii's progression over the past 5 years. 
  • We were thrilled to share the stage with MDA, the National Research Council Canada and the Canadian Space Agency for the TRAIL Dataset Webinar on May 13, a presentation and panel discussion about TRAIL, MDA’s Training AI Laboratory, and their new Canadarm3 collision avoidance dataset.
  • Congratulations to our friends at who recently received FDA approval on their AI tool - the world's first tool using AI to drastically simplify the thyroid ultrasound scanning workflow!
  • The Cybera Data Science for Albertans Fellowships returns! The program pairs emerging data scientists (Fellows) with industry partners who are interested in adopting data science practices or exploring a data science problem. Applications close June 13.
  • The CAN Health Network is looking for Canadian innovators who are committed to working with our Edges to introduce new solutions into the health care system. Check out their Call for Innovation now; deadline to apply is on May 25.
  • The Match UP program, part of the Uniting the Prairies Conference, pairs selected startups with investors and mentors for three curated meetings. If you are a startup located in the Prairies, apply by June 2!

Research Updates:

  • Amii Fellows & Canada CIFAR AI Chairs had work featured at the 9th annual ICLR, the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of deep learning.
  • Amii Fellows & Canada CIFAR AI Chairs also had work featured at the 20th annual AAMAS, the largest and most influential conference in the area of agents and multiagent systems. 
  • Matthew E. Taylor (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Fellow-in-Residence at Amii) was recently elected as AAMAS 2022 General Co-Chair and won Best Paper on the Blue Sky Track at AAMAS 2021! 
  • The April 16 AI Seminar featured Dr. Suchi Saria discussing approaches for tackling challenges in building safe and reliable AI.
  • Explore AI for social good with Milind Tambe! At the April 23 AI Seminar, Milind presented work from around the globe, including HIV prevention, COVID modeling and wildlife conservation.
  • On April 29, University of Manitoba professor Bill Leslie & MSc student Barrett Monchka presented at AI Seminar with their talk on using CNNs to improve physicians' ability to diagnose vertebral fractures.

Training Updates:

  • We had over 100 attendees to our ML Foundations 1 and 2 workshops in May! That’s a lot of foundational learning. Establish your base of knowledge in AI and machine learning -- join us on June 3 for ML Foundations 1 and on June 10 for ML Foundations 2.
  • The AI4Good Lab kicked off at the beginning of this month, welcoming 60 individuals between the Montreal and Edmonton cohorts.

Join us for AI Strategy and Management at NAIT

May 31 - July 20, 2021

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Gain Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) management and analysis skills.

Discover how to develop your knowledge and skills to define and manage a machine learning (ML) project that supports your organization's business priorities and strategic goals.

This isn't a technical course, but we will get into technical details just enough that you will be able to have informed discussions with technical teams about the data needed for ML projects, appropriate approaches to the problem, and the evaluation of the results.

You'll also have an appreciation of the business, social and ethical impacts of ML and how they apply to your organization and project.

Develop your skills & knowledge

Upcoming Events

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May 20: Virtual AI Meetup

Gather with the brightest minds in the AI community from Alberta and beyond at Amii’s Virtual AI Meetup! Each meetup features two presenters; at the end of each presentation, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session. This month's speakers include: Sarah Davis (Co-President, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Student Society) and Varun Ranganathan – University of Alberta MSc Student.

Join Alberta's growing AI community!

May 21: AI Seminar – Alaa Eddin Alchalabi

Alaa Eddin Alchalabi is an Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD Candidate focusing on applying AI and deep reinforcement learning on blockchains. He is currently a Research Scientist with Swarmio Media and Research Assistant at the University of Ottawa.


May 28: AI Seminar – Bruce Matichuk

GPT-3 has become a popular tool for language processing. This talk will review GPT-3 and demonstrate some of its core capabilities and applications, presented by Bruce Matichuk, Co-Founder and CTO of Health Gauge.


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June 23-24: Uniting the Prairies Conference

Uniting the Prairies (UP 2021) is a virtual conference that brings together the top startups from across the Prairies to connect with global investors & tech leaders and collectively elevate the Prairie Tech Community. The format includes Match UP on June 23 and the public UP Conference on June 24.

Get Your (Free) Ticket

See a full list of Amii and partner events on our Events page.

Recommended Readings

PM Justin Trudeau gives props to Edmonton AI: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a shout-out to AI in Edmonton recently while speaking on the Edmonton-based podcast and YouTube show Real Talk with Ryan Jespersen.

Drugbank Staff Collage

DrugBank Case Study: Read about how Amii has helped Edmonton-based startup DrugBank validate projects and increase in-house technical capabilities.

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Why AI That Teaches Itself to Achieve a Goal Is the Next Big Thing: Amii Fellow-in-Residence and Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Matthew E. Taylor recently co-authored an article with Katherine Hume from Borealis AI for the Harvard Business Review about what reinforcement learning can do for businesses.

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