Montréal Leads ‘Gold Rush’ in machine learning

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There are a few facts about Montréal that surprise people. John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote ‘Give Peace a Chance’ in the city during a 1969 week-long stay in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel; during Prohibition, Americans would hop over the border to enjoy a drink or two; and the UNESCO named Montréal a ‘city of design,’ part of its ‘Creative Cities’ network. However, that creativity is now taking off in a new direction. You’ll have heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is affecting every element of our lives. That ‘person’ replying to you on your call to your bank; the friendly ‘chat in a box’ as you discuss your home delivery needs; even the varying responses from the characters in your computer games; there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing AI in action. But beneath the surface AI now plays a role in almost every industry, with AI organisations continuously developing capabilities of computers to achieve tasks previously requiring human involvement. There’s an equally good chance that there’s a company in Montréal behind it; the city is home to the highest concentration of researchers and students of ‘deep learning’ in the world, with almost 9,000 students in AI and related...

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