October @ Amii | $9M in funding, Microsoft Scholarships, ML Foundations & Edmonton Startup Week

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Hi there,

I'm thrilled to share some exciting news to kick off our October update!

Together with our friends at Microsoft, we are awarding more than $200,000 in scholarships for our ML Technician Certification.

Currently, 20 students that received the first round of funding are attending the Fall 2020 program. We are now accepting applications for scholarships to the Winter 2021 program beginning in January 12, 2021. You can read the full announcement here

The past month also saw two major announcements:

Though we have faced many challenges because of COVID-19, one of the bright spots is that physical location has become less of a barrier to participate is some wonderful regional activities. Edmonton Startup Week is quickly approaching, happening online from October 19 to 23 this year. These five days will be chock full of workshops, socials, and events celebrating the diversity and culture of innovation in Edmonton. We’re happy to be involved (see more in the Upcoming Events section below), and as the founder of DemoCamp, I look forward to offering a special message at the 50th event.

See you over video chat soon, 


October Highlights: Research, Industry and Training 

Industry & Community Updates:

  • UK biotech company Alchemab has partnered with Amii to accelerate its adoption of artificial intelligence. Alchemab is focused on harnessing the power of adaptive immune systems to cure disease. As part of this partnership, Alchemab is establishing a presence in Edmonton and hiring a dedicated apprentice to support advanced research sourced and supervised by Amii.
  • Amii Fellow Adam White and our Managing Director of Applied Science Anna Koop participated in the September 22 Edmonton Global webinar “Accessing the world’s top AI & ML talent", where they discussed our brilliant students and researchers at the University of Alberta, the part Amii plays in developing an organization’s AI capabilities, and the wider impact that AI will have on our society.
  • Amii alumnus company DrugBank has successfully completed an investment round. According to their announcement, they will focus on growing their customer reach exponentially in the electronic medical records (EMR) industry, and intend to expand both their development and sales teams to achieve their goals.
  • The AltaML Applied AI Lab has officially launched, with a mandate to accelerate applied AI and ML skill development in Calgary and give approximately 240 paid interns hands-on experience. Congratulations to the entire team at AltaML!
  • The September Virtual AI Meetup featured Mohammad Motallebi and Matt Taylor, exploring explainable AI and reinforcement learning. If you missed it, watch it here!

Research Updates:

  • Fellow and Canada CIFAR AI Chair at Amii Martha White has received the competitive 2020 Killam Accelerator Research Award. Martha will receive $225,000 over three years to continue her leading-edge research in the field of machine learning.
  • Canada CIFAR AI Chair at Amii Mark Schmidt has collaborated with Canadian startup 1QBit to develop a computer vision and ML approach for the real-time diagnosis of lung abnormalities on chest X-rays.
  • Weeks six, seven and eight of the Tea Time Talks are up! Dive into 20-minute talks on interesting research topics -- from multimodal observation space for robot learning to stochastic optimism.
  • The latest in the 2020 AI Seminar Series features Amii alumnus and Sony AI Research Scientist Craig Sherstan presenting on Representation and General Value Functions

Training Updates:

  • How do we find creative solutions to the key challenges in AI facing society? CIFAR’s new AI Futures Policy Lab Toolkit provides policy innovators with resources to host a full-day workshop.

Upcoming Event

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October 21: AI in Health - Learning Health Systems

Join Amii and our partner the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry for this discussion on the burgeoning field of AI in healthcare! This month's event is a panel discussion on the theme "Learning Health Systems" featuring Amii Fellow and Professor at UAlberta Randy Goebel alongside Tim Murphy (VP of Health at Alberta Innovates), Dr. Neesh Pannu (Assistant Dean of Clinical Research Platforms at UAlberta), and with opening remarks from Lawrence Richer MD, MSc, FRCPC (Associate Dean, Clinical and Translational Research at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at UAlberta).

Register today!

Edmonton Startup Week Events

October 19: DemoCamp 50
Join us for a look back on some of the amazing demos from the last 12 years.
RSVP today

October 20: Job Mixer
Meet the Amii team and explore your career opportunities in AI!
RSVP today

October 23: Amii Presents Improbotics
Join us online for a special Edmonton Startup Week edition of Improbotics, a show which combines AI and comedy in a unique way. The show features an artificial improvisor (A.L.Ex.) who “performs” in the show. Each performance draws suggestions from the audience, making every show one of a kind.
RSVP today

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

ML Foundations 1 & 2: One-Day Workshops

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Dip your toe into the field of machine learning with our new facilitated workshops! Our online ML Foundations sessions provide a high-level overview of applied ML using real-world cases:

  • Examine the dimensions of data, people, strategy and tools through the AI lens at ML Foundations 1. Participants will discuss the ML process, how to define an ML problem, and social and ethical concerns around AI.
  • ML Foundations 2 takes a more technical focus, exploring data considerations when undertaking ML problem definition, as well as understanding data needs, proxies and the Machine Learning Process Lifecycle.

Each session is $250, which can be used as a credit for future sessions of our AI Strategy and Management course. Sessions are available in November and December.

Learn more and register today!

Research Conversations & Initiatives

  • CIFAR’s AI & Society Program, in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is seeking expressions of interest for a team to develop AI governance solutions to support responsible AI in low-middle income countries.
  • Some Fridays: the UAlberta AI Seminar also goes online for lunch hour presentations by UAlberta (and sometimes visiting) researchers.

Recommended Readings 

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