Geoffrey Hinton, an engineering fellow at Google, will serve as the chief scientific adviser for an initiative by the University of Toronto to make Canada a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI).
The Vector Institute for AI is part of a Canadian government initiative named ‘Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy’. In addition to government funding of CAD125 million ($93.5 million), Vector is expected to receive investment from the province of Ontario and more than 30 Canadian and global companies including Google, Air Canada, and the country’s five biggest banks.
Following those contributions, the sum invested is tipped to hit CAD200 million, Reuters reported.
According to the University: “South of the border, alumni and former faculty can also be found leading AI divisions at Google, Apple, OpenAI and Facebook. Here at home, they’re also creating their own startups… Hence the need for the Vector Institute.”
The goal is to to attract and retain talent to fill the needs of local businesses and support AI startups.
At Google, Hinton’s team is an extension of Google Brain, a research group which made advances in speech and image recognition, and is behind tools like Google Translate and image search.