Google Invests $5 Million In Canadian AI Institute

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Google invested $5 million CAD in the new Vector Institute in Toronto, Canada, the Mountain View-based tech giant announced. In a blog post published earlier this week, Geoffrey Hinton, Engineering Fellow at Google and Chief Scientific Advisor for the Vector Institute, explained that the investment is yet another step in Google’s efforts to help grow the artificial intelligence (AI) sector in the country. In addition to the investment meant to kickstart the latest AI institute of the Univesity of Toronto, Hinton also revealed that the Alphabet-owned company just opened another deep learning office in Canada – Google Brain Toronto. The new office will be looking to resolve some of the major obstacles that contemporary AI researchers are facing, Hinton said, but didn’t provide specific details regarding the office’s activities.

Regardless, the Internet giant vowed to continue investing in Canada’s growing AI sector by publishing its related findings and assisting researchers and collaborators using TensorFlow, its open source software library for machine learning and artificial intelligence in general. While the company’s new Toronto office will apparently be focused on major AI-related challenges, its previously opened research center will continue working on basic advancements in the field, the firm said. Google’s $5 million CAD investment is only a smaller portion of the funding secured for the new Vector Institute that already raised $150 million CAD, the majority of which was provided by Canadian and Ontarian administrations. The institute’s focus could see it make breakthroughs that will help advance a wide array of industries including manufacturing and healthcare, Hinton said.

Google’s new investment comes shortly after the Mountain View-based company gave $4.5 million CAD to another AI institute in the country last November. The company’s growing focus on AI has seen it invest in a number of similar initiatives in recent years as Google is currently funding related operations all over the world and is gradually increasing the amount of resources it’s committing to its AI efforts. While it’s unlikely that consumers will experience any direct benefits of the Vector Institute’s research in the short term, the new Toronto facility is bound to contribute to long-term advancements in this emerging technology on a global scale.