The might of Montreal as an artificial intelligence epicentre was evident today with the launch of the two-day ALL IN 2023 Conference organized by Scale AI, the investment and innovation hub mandated to accelerate the adoption and integration of the technology.
The event was organized to showcase AI advances across a number of vertical sectors including healthcare, and to that end, Scale AI announced $21 million worth of investments at nine hospitals across Canada through the federal government’s Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, launched in 2017 as a means of driving AI across Canada’s economy and society.
The projects, a release issued by the organization stated, include optimizing and forecasting for resource and workflow operations, patient care management and virtual triaging and queue management and, “will help resolve complex challenges in Canadian healthcare. These technological advances will have tangible, measurable effects on hospital activities, notably by helping to improve the patient’s journey and experience by streamlining the logistics, determining daily resource management or reducing waiting times.”
Federal Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said, “AI for healthcare offers powerful new solutions to improve the daily lives of Canadian patients. Through the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, SCALE AI is working with local AI experts to develop these solutions in partnership with local healthcare institutions and hospitals to ensure better data protection and a solid ethical framework for analyzing and processing information about patients and our healthcare system.”
Scale AI CEO Julien Billot said the organization is “working with many partners to accelerate the rapid adoption and integration of AI in key sectors like healthcare. Through this initiative, AI ecosystem players and hospitals are mobilizing to meet today’s specific health challenges and have a profound effect on healthcare in Canada.”
During a session this morning at ALL IN that examined what Canada’s role should be as a global AI hub, he described the conference as being a multi-faceted event that not only provides examples of AI in action, but enhances relationships between researchers, end-user organizations, startups, and investors.
Also on the panel was Sophie Fallaha, executive director of the Montreal-based International Centre of Expertise on Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA), a non-governmental organization (NGO) that specializes in the development and implementation of responsible AI.
“Today, we have 29 countries around the table that really work together to bridge the gap between theory and practice around responsible AI,” she said.
“There is a multidisciplinary team of people from academia, from the private sector, from international organizations, developing projects and reflecting on how to bring the concept of responsible AI into practical projects in data governance. They are thinking about the future of work, innovation, and commercialization.”
According to a CEIMIA blog posted in July, as calls for regulation grow louder, so does the need to increase the level of collaboration between organizations addressing the impacts of AI. Technology is developing and deploying faster than any individual government or organization is able to keep up with. The longer we delay working together, the more likely it is that the adverse impacts will outweigh the potential benefits to society.
“International collaboration helps to promote ethical standards and guidelines for the development and deployment of AI,” it said. “This translates into tools and models developed in a responsible, transparent and socially beneficial way.”