Canada boosts AI sector with $2.4b investment

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said that a significant surge in AI job growth, boasting an increase of nearly a third within the past year, one of the most pronounced growth rates across sectors. In response, Canada is ramping up efforts to bolster employment and research within the AI realm, aligning with other nations aiming to capitalize on this burgeoning technology.

Trudeau revealed a substantial C$2.4 billion funding allocation from the forthcoming budget to propel Canada’s position in the evolving economic landscape, emphasizing both the pursuit of future economic opportunities and the imperative of responsible AI development. Canada has been at the forefront in establishing a national AI strategy, having invested over C$2 billion since 2017 to nurture AI innovation.

The Prime Minister underscored the transformative impact of AI across various industries, extolling its capacity to enhance productivity and create novel job prospects, surpassing the national average income. A significant portion of the announced package, C$2 billion, is earmarked for fortifying computing capabilities and technological infrastructure for AI startups and researchers, while C$200 million will support startups in pivotal sectors like agriculture and healthcare.

Furthermore, a C$50 million fund will facilitate skills training for workers transitioning due to AI disruptions, with special attention to fostering creativity. Concurrently, the establishment of a Canadian AI Safety Institute aims to safeguard against potential risks posed by advanced AI systems.

Trudeau framed the investment as pivotal for maintaining Canada’s global leadership in AI, fostering innovation, and driving economic growth. This announcement aligns with the broader international trend of increased investment and regulatory measures in the AI sphere, as evidenced by recent developments such as the UN’s resolution and the EU’s adoption of the AI Act.