April 19, 2024
Trudeau's $1.8B Boost for Canada's AI Sector

Trudeau’s $1.8B Boost for Canada’s AI Sector

Canada pledges $1.76 billion (2.4 billion Canadian dollars) from its federal budget to bolster its artificial intelligence (AI) sector, aiming to uphold the nation’s “competitive edge” in AI technology. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasizes the economic potential of generative AI, foreseeing enhanced productivity and reduced labor hours spent on repetitive tasks.

Investment Allocation and Initiatives

The allocated funds include $1.47 billion for enhancing computing capabilities and AI-related infrastructure through the AI Compute Access Fund. This initiative aims to support leading AI researchers and startups across Canada. Additionally, $147 million is earmarked for AI startups in various sectors such as agriculture, clean technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. Small and medium-sized AI scale-up companies will receive $73.5 million to boost productivity.

“This will create good-paying opportunities for every generation, boost innovation across the economy, raise productivity, and accelerate economic growth.”

Addressing Workforce Impact and Ensuring AI Safety

Recognizing the potential impact on workers, $36.8 million is allocated under the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program to re-train and re-skill individuals affected by the AI boom. Notably, employees in industries like film and animation are identified as most vulnerable to job displacement by generative AI. Furthermore, $36.8 million will establish the Canadian AI Safety Institute to promote the safe development and deployment of AI technologies.

Canada’s commitment to AI advancement is evident in its Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, introduced in 2017. This strategy focuses on fostering AI adoption through research and commercialization efforts. The Canadian AI market is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, indicating significant growth potential. Moreover, Canada has reportedly sought to attract emerging AI firms from the European Union, aiming to bolster its AI ecosystem.

Tenstorrent, a prominent Canadian AI startup, stands as a testament to the nation’s AI prowess. In collaboration with Samsung, Tenstorrent aims to “bring the next generation of AI chiplets to market”, showcasing Canada’s innovation in AI hardware. The startup secured a $100-million funding round led by Samsung and Hyundai, underscoring the confidence in Canada’s AI capabilities.

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