CIFAR, Amii and the Vector Institute name eight new Canada CIFAR AI Chairs - CIFAR

CIFAR, Amii and the Vector Institute name eight new Canada CIFAR AI Chairs - CIFAR

Eight leaders in artificial intelligence research were named Canada CIFAR AI Chairs today, joining the country’s robust artificial intelligence research ecosystem. The chairs will help advance Canadian leadership in priority areas under the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy at CIFAR.

Seven chairs from the new cohort are affiliated with the Vector Institute in Toronto, and the eighth has been appointed to Amii in Edmonton.

The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program is a cornerstone of the strategy, recruiting the world’s top AI researchers to Canada while retaining existing talent. The prestigious program provides university-affiliated faculty with long-term, dedicated funding to support cutting-edge research programs and help them train the next generation of AI leaders.

The appointments will advance Canadian research in fields of inquiry identified through the second phase of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy as priority areas: AI for health; AI for energy and the environment; the fundamental science of AI; and the responsible use of AI.

With a focus on natural language processing, deep learning and multimodal learning, Chen designs models and algorithms that incorporate world knowledge into deep neural networks, making AI models more trustworthy.

Clune focuses on deep learning, including deep reinforcement learning. He attempts to create AI that could improve itself forever by generating its own learning challenges, learning to solve them, and repeating that process endlessly.

Hadfield’s research is focused on the challenges of AI governance. She brings extensive legal, scientific and humanistic knowledge to the scrutiny of emerging technologies including AI, designing next-generation methods of regulation to ensure that the global technological transformation now underway will continue to achieve human goals of fairness, stability, prosperity, and human dignity.

He’s research focuses on the areas of privacy and security for big data, including the development of usable and trustworthy tools for data exploration and machine learning with provable security and privacy guarantees.

A Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning, Kong’s research interests include functional and neuroimaging data analysis, statistical machine learning, robust statistics and quantile regression, and artificial intelligence in smart health.

Mousavi is advancing techniques for developing and leveraging machine learning in computer-assisted medical interventions and precision medicine. She also leads a multi-institutional program that trains the next generation of AI researchers on innovative computational approaches and intelligent systems that can predict and explain complex biological processes.

Von Lilienfeld leads an interdisciplinary team at the University of Toronto, working on theoretical and computational methods for the exploration of chemical compound space using quantum mechanics.

Shwartz’s research focuses on natural language processing, with the fundamental goal of building models capable of human-level understanding of natural language. She is particularly focused on the implicit meaning (“reading between the lines”) that is abundant in human speech, and on developing machines with advanced reasoning skills.

“Artificial intelligence is one of the greatest technological transformations and economic opportunities of our age. That is why our government has placed fostering AI research at the heart of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. We continue to support and grow the Chairs program so Canada can continue to retain, attract and develop academic research talent in AI. Congratulations to our eight new chairholders – you join other world-leading researchers who are driving efforts to build a stronger economy, develop cleaner energy, improve public health, and increase innovation in Canada.

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The new Canada CIFAR AI Chairs joining Amii and the Vector Institute are an extraordinarily talented group of researchers who will continue to educate and inspire the next generation of AI leaders and advance research in exciting and important areas. We look forward to seeing how their research will advance the development of artificial intelligence and its applications for the benefit of Canadians and the world.”

“Amii is pleased to welcome Linglong Kong as one of the latest Canada CIFAR AI Chairs. He further strengthens a rapidly-growing research community, both in Alberta and across the country, that is making Canada a hub of artificial intelligence development. The work of Linglong and his fellow Canada AI Chairs is vital to the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy and will help push forward our goal: the responsible development of AI that will benefit us all.”

“We are excited to welcome these exceptional researchers to Vector’s robust community of innovative problem-solvers working on both curiosity-driven and applied research. They bring with them expertise in areas that will shape AI’s role in society, including health, governance, and privacy and security. Their decision to continue their important work here in Canada is further proof of our position as a global talent magnet. As both Canada CIFAR AI Chairs and Vector Faculty Members, we look forward to their contributions to realizing the goals of the Pan Canadian AI Strategy as we enter its next chapter.”

The Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy at CIFAR drives cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of diverse AI leaders, and fosters cross-sectoral collaboration for innovation, commercialization and responsible AI adoption. Our three National AI Institutes – Amii in Edmonton, Mila in Montréal, and the Vector Institute in Toronto – are the vibrant central hubs of Canada’s thriving AI ecosystem. Funded by the Government of Canada, we’re building a dynamic, representative, and rich community of world-leading researchers who are creating transformative, responsible AI solutions for people and the planet.

CIFAR is a Canadian-based global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity. We are supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

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