Province invests $30M in Amii to further AI adoption

Province invests $30M in Amii to further AI adoption

· The Pulse

A $30-million investment from the province will allow Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) to further its efforts to bring AI out of the academy and into industry, says the organization's CEO.

"As Amii advances the science of AI, we seek to make the field more approachable by acting as a translator; translating that research into industry impact and the shape of talent development, commercialization, and ecosystem development," Cam Linke said at the March 24 funding announcement.

Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, spoke to some specific metrics she expects from the investment.

"There (are) results that we're looking at over the next four years to include over 1,000 companies being trained in the use of artificial intelligence … There'll be at least 120 startups that will participate with Amii to get support and help create products that are data- and AI-driven," she said. "There's going to be more than 2,500 Albertans trained in AI — and I think that is a low estimate of what, really, is to come."

Commercialization is a word on many lips when it comes to AI, and Amii has faced questions about it before. Linke highlighted work with Calgary's Attabotics to improve its robotic supply chain system and with Edmonton's EZ Ops to reduce expenses and emissions from oil and gas wells as examples of the kind of work Amii will continue to pursue.

"The core thing is solving those big challenges that industry has in being able to grow their capacity in AI," he told Taproot.

The funding will also help Amii's work-integrated learning opportunities continue to deepen Alberta's talent pool by placing "top-tier technical talent on industry-facing engagements while those participants continue their graduate studies," Linke said.

The latest announcement comes just a few months after Amii invested $30 million into the University of Alberta to support the creation of 20 new faculty positions in AI.

Photo: Technology and Innovation Minister Nate Glubish, Amii CEO Cam Linke, and Alberta Innovates CEO Laura Kilcrease stand with past and present participants in Amii's work-integrated learning program at an announcement on March 24, 2023. (Chris Onciul/Amii)