The Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute will bring together a group of researchers and businesses to “advance technology and prepare Canada for future economic disruption,” stated the government in a press release.
The institute will teach the basics of artificial intelligence, with researchers focusing on developing AI solutions for healthcare, environmental protection, urban planning, manufacturing, autonomous systems, and human-machine interactions.
“The institute will connect researchers with businesses,” said the government, indicating that the facility may also serve as a research and development (R&D) center for corporations.
One of the major mandates of the lab is to explore AI solutions for drinking water by identifying the presence of algae in water samples.
Professors at the University of Waterloo have emphasized that artificial intelligence is not meant to replace people with robots, but to help people do things better and faster.
Canada has been making greater efforts to carve out a niche in the global market for AI solutions.
“Artificial intelligence is estimated to contribute up to US$15.7 trillion per year to the global economy by 2030; if properly leveraged AI will promote innovation, grow the economy and create thousands of middle-class jobs,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.