Bell, Mila to embark on joint deep learning AI initiative

Artificial intelligence research institute Mila and Bell Canada have announced an 18-month collaborative project that, the two said, will apply deep learning neural network algorithms to Bell’s systems and data.

The lab, which specializes in artificial intelligence (AI) advances, was founded in 1993 by Yoshua Bengio, a professor at the University of Montreal, and today has an estimated 1,200 researchers. Two years ago, Bengio was ranked third on the list of the most recognized and influential researchers in any field published by Stanford University.

Bell said in a release that it has made “significant investments to develop extensive data analytics capabilities and AI applications in multiple areas of its operations, and this collaboration is the latest step in advancing its AI expertise.

Plans, it said, call for Mila researchers to work alongside Bell’s Machine Learning and AI teams to “build on those investments by using cutting-edge deep learning neural network techniques to identify opportunities for improving business performance and customer experience.

“These neural network deep learning models, inspired by the human brain, teach computers to recognize complex patterns in pictures, text, sounds and other data to produce accurate insights and predictions.”

By advancing its understanding of deep learning AI techniques, Bell said it “will continue to enhance its customer experience and accelerate its transition from a traditional telecommunications company to a technology services leader.”

As part of the collaboration, the two organizations are scheduled to write a paper highlighting their technical findings in support of global AI advancement.

Stephane Letourneau, executive vice president of Mila, said that through the collaboration, “we look forward to combining Mila’s research capabilities with Bell’s extensive industry knowledge in order to highlight and harness AI’s potential in this evolving field.”

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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