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Canada puts $2B into AI innovation to lead the future

2 mins

Jude Foster

Published by: Jude Foster

08 April 2024, 08:40PM GMT+00:00

In Brief

Canada invests $2.4B in AI to boost economy and tech leadership.

Initiatives include Canadian AI Compute Strategy and Safety Institute.

$200M for startups in agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing.

$100M to help small businesses use AI for productivity.

Canada's AI and Data Commissioner office gets $5.1M for oversight.

Canada puts $2B into AI innovation to lead the future

Canada just announced they're putting $2.4 billion into artificial intelligence (AI), as part of their big plan for the year's budget. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared the news on Sunday, aiming to boost the nation's AI game by providing researchers and startups with the tech tools they need.

This hefty investment is going to kick-start two big initiatives: the Canadian AI Sovereign Compute Strategy and the Canadian AI Safety Institute. The first one is all about speeding up the development of home-grown AI solutions, and the second one is focused on making sure AI tech is developed and used safely. Trudeau is all in on AI, believing it's a game-changer for the economy, and he's betting big that this investment will open up lots of high-paying jobs for Canadians, especially the younger crowd, by boosting productivity and growing the economy. The safety institute isn't just looking out for Canada—it's set to work with partners around the globe to tackle the risks of super-smart or potentially dangerous AI, starting with a $50 million fund.

But there's more to this budget than just safety nets. Startups in key areas like agriculture, health care, and manufacturing are getting a $200 million boost. And there's $100 million on the table for smaller businesses to get into AI with help from the National Research Council of Canada. Another $50 million is going towards helping various industries, including creative ones, adapt to AI changes by learning new skills. And, to make sure all this AI development plays nice with people's rights, there's $5.1 million going to set up Canada’s Office of the AI and Data Commissioner, under a new law that's all about keeping AI in check.

Since 2017, Canada has been all in on AI, pouring $1.4 billion into research and being the first to lay out a national strategy for it. This latest move in the budget, which Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will bring to Parliament, shows they're serious about staying at the top of the global AI scene. Freeland is excited about the potential for creating high-quality jobs for Canadians leading the way in AI, saying this investment is all about boosting the country's economic growth and staying ahead in the tech race.

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