AI Pioneer: Data Becoming ‘the new oil’
Canadian AI pioneer warns that AI development carries risks. CBC News reports that Yoshua Bengio of the Montreal Institute of Learning Algorithms–dubbed the “godfather” of Canadian deep learning–says the industry and governments need to address the possibility of so-called “killer robots” and their use by unscrupulous politicians and military leaders. Bengio urges governments to sign treaties and agreements to ban arms that kill without human intervention.
The director of Facebook ‘s AI research in Canada is Yann Lecun, who shares the same concern, urges the development of guidelines across the industry worldwide. He said they could help set appropriate ways to construct, train, test and deploy AI discoveries so that early AI won’t lead to a ‘bad rep’ in the beginning of its use.
“One danger is that the image of artificial intelligence in the public will degrade because of bad uses of AI.”
The social networking giant opened a new research lab called FAIR Montreal in September 2017 to solidify its position as an AI development guide. The lab is to be headed by Professor Joelle Pineau of Mcgill University’s computer science department. The 10-person lab plans to triple its employees in the coming year as Facebook invests $7 million into Montreal’s AI community to fund research while recruiting Canadian students. Pineau told dignitaries, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that she hopes to increase AI interest among Canadian youth.
“For many years, I’ve seen a steady stream of talented AI researchers leaving my lab but also leaving our country, and I hope that some of the students who are here today will find an opportunity that matches their interest and their talent.”
Facebook and Pineau think this will help slow the drain of brain power from Canada to other companies around the world. Read more about the Mcgill Facebook partnership here.