Trudeau Unveils $1.8B for AI Industry

Nikita Pradhan
Nikita Pradhan News
4 Min Read
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Upon the occasion, the administration revealed a financial package totalling C$2.4 billion ($1.8 billion) concerning artificial intelligence.

The primary allocation amounts to C$2 billion intended for enhancing “computational capacities and technological infrastructure,” thereby expediting the endeavours of AI researchers, emerging enterprises, and related entities, as conveyed in an official declaration.

Further disbursements are earmarked to expedite the integration of AI across various sectors, encompassing agriculture and healthcare, as articulated in the aforementioned declaration.

The financial allotments aim to unleash the entire spectrum of AI potential, affording Canadians, particularly the younger populace, lucrative employment opportunities, thereby fostering productivity enhancements and bolstering economic expansion, as emphasized by Trudeau.

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Advancements in Canadian AI Landscape

Benjamin Bergen, leader of the Council of Canadian Innovators, expressed a desire for clearer guidance regarding the accessibility of the computing power and infrastructure set to be provided by the government.

“If this allocation empowers Canadian enterprises to compete on a global scale, today’s announcement signifies a positive stride forward,” he remarked.

The prime minister disclosed this development in Montreal, one among several burgeoning AI centres in Canada. Renowned AI researcher Yoshua Bengio has contributed significantly to the city’s emergence as a hub of expertise in foundational research.

Notably, Bengio joined Elon Musk and Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak in urging a temporary cessation of potent AI model training efforts. During the Montreal event, Bengio expressed widespread concern among researchers regarding the current trajectory of AI development.

He commended the proposed Canadian AI Safety Institute, endowed with a budget of C$50 million, stating, “Canada positions itself favourably in the annals of history with this announcement.”

Canada has yet to enact legislation to govern AI. While the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act was introduced in 2022, it remains under review by parliamentary members.

Government data indicates a workforce of over 140,000 active AI professionals in Canada as of the previous year. Moreover, AI-related ventures accounted for nearly 30% of total venture capital activity in Canada in 2022, amounting to approximately C$8.6 billion.

Trudeau Will Spend On A.I But Not On Houses

Government Initiatives in Technology Investment Oversight

Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne informed Bloomberg News in March that forthcoming regulations will mandate advance notification to the government regarding non-Canadian entities’ intentions to invest in crucial technology sectors such as AI and quantum computing.

This measure aims to afford the government time to evaluate the national security implications of such investments, particularly in light of concerns surrounding Chinese capital inflow into Canadian entities.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is scheduled to unveil her budget plan for fiscal 2024-25 on April 16. However, the government has opted for a phased release of select components through various events leading up to the official announcement.

Last Updated on by Nikita Pradhan

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