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Canada and Germany Foster Exchange on AI at Smart Data Forum
This year’s German Canadian Concourse 2019 on Building Synapses of Transatlantic Artificial Intelligence Cooperation started with a field trip to the Smart Data Forum on February 21st 2019. The field trip to the Smart Data Forum was filled with talks as well as tours of the various Smart Data demonstrators in the showroom. The session provided an opportunity for the Canadian and German audience to learn about Germany’s efforts in digital technologies and AI and get an insight into the different technology programs of the BMWi. The second part of the concourse was held at Embassy of Canada, where audiences in both Berlin and Montréal were connected by video-link for the afternoon sessions.
The Concourse is organized by the Canada meets Germany Network e.V., which has been organizing annual transatlantic conferences since 2012. Bringing together Canadian and German experts on innovative topics is the aim of the conference, said Dr. Matthias Mück, president of Canada Meets Germany Network, when starting off the event at Smart Data Forum. Dr. Azadeh Ghahghaie supported the idea in her presentation of Smart Data Forum’s work, emphasizing Germany’s and Canada’s efforts on AI and possibilities for collaboration.
Canada was the first country releasing a national AI strategy in 2017, budgeting C$125 million to invest in AI over the next five years. It has established three new AI institutes, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (amii) in Edmonton, MILA in Montréal and the Vector Institute in Toronto. The strategy is coordinated by the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research (CIFAR) and has a distinct focus on fostering research and talent training. It also aims at developing thought leadership on economic, ethical, policy and legal implications of advances in AI. In June 2018, Canada and France announced a partnership by creating the International Panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI), which will support and guide the responsible adoption of AI in a human-centric way.
Germany has released its own national AI strategy in November 2018 and is stepping up its efforts to foster research and applications on AI. The federal government plans to spend €3 billion until 2025 in order to reach three overarching goals: Germany and Europe should become leading places for the development and application of AI technologies. Germany aims at a responsible AI and wants to embed AI in a societal dialog on the ethical, legal, cultural and institutional design.
As both Germany and Canada are working intently on these topics and increasing their efforts on AI, it is the perfect time to foster exchange and collaboration. Whilst the German Canadian Concourse allows for great first meetings and exchanges, Smart Data Forum is also planning to intensify the relationship through an international roadshow and further workshops.