Artificial Intelligence

Edmonton is Canada’s centre for Artificial Intelligence

Perhaps you know that Canada is a leader in the global artificial intelligence landscape. You may not know that Edmonton is a major reason why.
Robot Hand
U of A Comp Sci

A Hub for Artificial Intelligence in Canada

Edmonton was named as one of three hubs for Artificial Intelligence research in Canada with the announcement of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy in the 2017 federal budget. The $125 million strategy will fund three Artificial Intelligence institutes in Canada over the course of the five-year strategy.

One of the institutes to receive this funding is Edmonton’s Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, which operates out of the University of Alberta’s Computing Science department. This funding strategy is designed to encourage innovation in the field by supporting the necessary research for the industry to thrive.

Abundant Research

Edmonton has unparalleled research assets which are anchored by the University of Alberta (our province’s flagship university) and its world class Computing Science department, which works in concert with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii).

Originally formed in 2002, Amii works to enhance knowledge and accelerate innovation in the fields of machine learning & artificial intelligence. One of the most renowned Artificial Intelligence institutes in the world, their team of experts, including over 120 staff and students, advance academic understanding and provide data-driven solutions to the toughest problems facing businesses in Alberta and beyond.

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The University of Alberta, with its renowned research institutes, is:

#6 in the world

for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Research (CSRankings, 2018)

#6 In Canada

In Computer Science (Us News & World Report)

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hubs for Artificial Intelligence research in Canada named in the federal government of Canada's Pan-Canadian AI Strategy

Computing Science at the University of Alberta is distinguished by its strong collegiality, nurtured by a robust social and collaborative fabric.
Randy Goebel Professor of Computing Science at The University of Alberta

A Young + Talented Population

Edmonton has a young, fast growing population. This includes over 100,000 students attending Edmonton’s post-secondary institutes annually. Our six post-secondary schools have over 10,000 international students from 140 different countries.

Our federal and provincial governments’ Global Skills Strategy make it a strategic priority to attract more foreign talent, making Canada a recognized leader in economic immigration.

Edmonton is also home to the Alberta Artificial Intelligence Association, which has over 400 individual members (including students, academics, and entrepreneurs).

Renowned Companies + Researchers

Alphabet’s (Google) DeepMind opened their first international office outside England in Edmonton in order to gain access to Edmonton’s top talent, including renowned Amii researchers Rich Sutton, Michael Bowling, and Patrick Pilarski.

Additionally, The Royal Bank of Canada's research and development lab Borealis AI also chose to establish a lab in the city to capitalize on Edmonton’s talent pool of graduating students and the growing Artificial Intelligence community here. Borealis AI has recruited Prof. Matthew Taylor from Washington State University to lead its Edmonton lab, which has 10 full time research staff and 10 positions for internships for students.

It is very rare for anyone who joins the department to leave. It is advantageous to be here as world leading AI groups are establishing and growing in Edmonton.
Randy Goebel Professor of Computing Science at The University of Alberta

Artificial Intelligence Business Plan

This moment in time is a once-in-a-century opportunity to put Alberta on a global map in an area that will define our future. Alberta has the ingredients, the passion, the momentum; and now, we have the plan to take this future in our hands!
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Vehicle Downtown Edmonton

An Autonomous Vehicles Powerhouse

Organizations in Edmonton such as the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), the Alberta Centre for Advanced Micro-Nano-Technology Products (ACAMP), and the University of Alberta’s Centre for Smart Transportation, have created a robust and interconnected ecosystem of research and testing in the area of autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation.

The Centre for Smart Transportation is developing Canada’s first Connected Vehicle (CV) test bed, the ACTIVE-AURORA research circuit: The ACTIVE (Alberta Cooperative Transportation Infrastructure and Vehicular Environment) portion of the ACTIVEAURORA program is based in Edmonton and has become a leader in Intelligent Transport Systems research and technology development. Launched in 2014 as the first connected vehicle test-bed network in Canada, it aims to improve transportation networks in areas such as safety, security, and efficiency.

A History of Innovation
Edmonton is not new to this crucial field. We have a deep history of making important advancements in Artificial Intelligence/ML going back decades. Some of our ties to key advancements include:
1994 The Chinook program challenges world checkers champion Marion Tinsley; checkers game is “solved" in 2007. Chinook program was developed by Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer; currently Dean of Science, UAlberta
1997 IBM’s Deep Blue Computer defeats world champion Gary Kasparov. A key member of that team created Deep Blue was Murray Campbell who received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UAlberta.
2016 DeepMind’s AlphaGo program beats Go World champion Lee Sedol. The Lead Programmers of the AlphaGo program were Drs David Silver and Aja Huang who were both students at UAlberta.
2017 The DeepStack Program defeats professional poker players in heads-up no limit Texas Hold’em poker. The achievement was featured on the cover of the Journal of Science in May, 2017, and was led by UAlberta professor Dr. Michael Bowling.


For more information on Edmonton’s Artificial Intelligence sector, get in touch with our Enterprise Edmonton division.