May 19, 2020

RBC to open AI lab in Montreal, alongside Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Samsung

Royal Bank of Canada
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RBC to open AI lab in Montreal, alongside Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Samsung

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has announced that Borealis AI, an RBC Institute for Research, will be opening a lab in Montreal dedicated to AI.

Borealis AI has partnered with Jackie Cheung in the launch of the AI-dedicated facility, a McGill University Professor. Cheung will act as an academic advisor for the lab and look to collaborate closely with the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) in doing so.

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“The MILA is delighted to see a major Canadian business investing in AI research, particularly in long-term difficult questions, and opening a lab in Montreal,” said AI pioneer and Head of MILA, Professor Yoshua Bengio.

“The collaborations this will bring are not just between MILA and RBC, but also involve other actors in the ecosystem, which is important for the country’s ability to compete internationally. There are plenty of difficult AI research questions of interest to RBC which can have major impact on many sectors of the economy, so this goes well beyond the banking sector.”

Montreal has become a hub for AI in recent times, with the likes of Facebook, Samsung, Microsoft and Google all having made the city a centre for their own AI developments.

“Montreal has emerged as a global centre for research in artificial intelligence and I’m excited to be participating in this community,” said Foteini Agrafioti, Head of Borealis AI and Chief Science Officer at RBC.

“We’re committed to helping advance the field through the creation of intellectual property and look forward to providing new opportunities for the enormous talent already doing exceptional research in the region.”

Within the announcement, RBC also revealed that it has been named as a partner of the Creative Destruction Lab Montreal – an organisation that looks to help innovators to transition from science projects to becoming high-growth companies.

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