Does the world need another AI lab?

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Here in Alberta, we don’t simply follow the leader. We build, we trailblaze, we invent and reinvent, we listen, and we lead.

As artificial intelligence and machine learning change how we interact with machines to make ourselves more productive and tackle challenges in every industry, there is urgency to be on the leading edge of the adoption curve. AI Labs and researchers leading the field will imprint values and ethics that guide the application and direction of technology.

We cannot simply observe, we must be active in designing the future that we want to live in.

That’s why ATB is doubling down on its investment in AI, creating a robust strategy with multiple initiatives and partnerships. One of our key partnerships is with the University of Alberta, a leading institution on AI, machine learning, and deep learning algorithms.

The three pillars of ATB’s AI Strategy are: the UAlberta partnership, the Research & Affiliate Network, and AI: People & Ethics.

Research Partnership with UAlberta

We are pairing ATB’s data scientists, physicists and mathematicians, with research partners at the University of Alberta who are working on cutting edge techniques.

This isn’t play time. What we are working on is beyond research, we will work to bring research to production quickly to solve problems for ATB customers, with some of the initial work being tested within a couple of months of project initiation. This includes things like optimizing customer experience on web and mobile platforms, real-time fraud detection, and using reinforcement learning to identify and reduce friction points to bring more happiness to ATB customers.

Our nimble size, commitment to advancing human capabilities when it comes to developing new  technology, and our internal expertise position ATB to lead the way in applications of AI and machine learning to make banking, and life, better for Albertans.

AI Research & Affiliate Network

Led by Dr. Randy Goebel, Professor & iCORE President of Computing Science at the University of Alberta, The Network is the aspirational vision behind the AI and machine learning ecosystem in Alberta.

Network members will drive content, expertise, and conversation around AI and machine learning to elevate Alberta in the national and international dialogue. The Network is charged with inspiring our next generation of researchers and highlighting Alberta institutions and companies as the place to study, conduct research, and work in industry.

As a province, we all benefit when we uplift the collective minds hard at work within this burgeoning space. The Research & Affiliate Network is a platform to connect and highlight the brilliant minds, and work being undertaken, in Alberta on AI and machine learning.

AI, People & Society

Advancements in artificial intelligence have highlighted a new frontier for ethics and risk assessment in emerging technology. As we think about developing research, elevating technologies, and inspiring the next generation of researchers and scientists - we also know that we need to drive a conversation around the responsible adoption and application of AI machine learning.

The People & Ethics pillar of ATB’s AI Lab is a grassroots community initiative uniting creative, research, science, and business with the common goal advancing the ethical application of AI. As a free, open, diverse nation and province, Canada and Alberta must show leadership in the development of successful artificial intelligence that is inclusive, fair, and ethically sound.

Led by Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing, University of Alberta and Director of the Kule Institute for Advanced Study, the community will contribute to the discussion on AI advancements and applications that focus on the benefit to our community and society and development of a practical framework for ethical design of solutions.  

What it means for Alberta

Massive advancements in AI and machine learning are changing what the next generation of leaders will need in terms of knowledge, capabilities, and skills. As Alberta’s institutions thrive on the academic and research front of AI and machine learning, it is critical that industry provides channels to move from research and talent into practical application.

ATB is committed to supporting the critical mass required to keep ideas and talent within the province and to attract great minds from around the world, for the benefit of all Albertans.

Ultimately we are enabling talent, ideas, and pipeline. Advancing Alberta’s position on the national and global stage. Equally important - we must display leadership in order to be part of the conversation around ethical applications of AI. We must have the capabilities internally in order to lead.

So does the world need another AI Lab, you ask? ... We think, hell yes.