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Canada’s leadership in AI

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HISTORY

Canada has been at the forefront of advancing AI for decades.

CIFAR’s early leadership in AI was established as a result of the Learning in Machines & Brains program. In the 1980s, CIFAR launched a new AI research program called Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Society, which included AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton as one of its members. In 2004, he led the Neural Computation & Adaptive Perception Program, bringing computer and cognitive scientists together to develop a new approach to machine learning, inspired by the human brain. This program was renamed Learning in Machines & Brains in 2014. Under the co-direction of Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun, it continues to advance AI research. 

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MILESTONES

The Pan-Canadian AI Strategy is fuelling research innovation in Canada.

Since the announcement of the strategy in 2017, Canada has seen significant growth in our AI ecosystem.

1983

CIFAR launches one of Canada’s first AI research programs: AI, Robotics & Society

2004

CIFAR launches the Neural Computation & Adaptive Perception (NCAP) program, led by Geoffrey Hinton, including members Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun

2015

NCAP renamed Learning in Machines & Brains and appoints new co-directors Bengio and LeCun

2017

Canada appoints CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy

2017

Canada’s national AI Institutes are established (Amii, Mila, Vector Institute)

2017

CIFAR launches the AI & Society program

2018

CIFAR announces the first 29 Canada CIFAR AI Chairs at AICan 2018

2019

CIFAR Fellows Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun are named the winners of the prestigious ACM A.M. Turing Award for their development of deep learning

2019

CIFAR expands the Canada CIFAR AI Chairs Program to 46

2019

CIFAR expands the Canada CIFAR AI Chairs Program to 80 at AICan 2019

2020

CIFAR convenes an AI4Health Task Force to make recommendations on a national AI for health strategy

2021

CIFAR announces 29 Canada CIFAR AI Chairs for a total of 109

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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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