9 Oct 2019

Borealis AI supports AI research on climate change through a new collaboration with Mila Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute

In a continued effort to take its research beyond banking, Borealis AI announced a new collaboration with Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute to support an artificial intelligence (AI) research project on climate change.

“We see immense potential for technology to help address the challenges of climate change and are pleased to invest in these solutions with our partners in the AI ecosystem of Montreal, a world-class hub for machine learning research,” says Foteini Agrafioti, Chief Science Officer at RBC and Head of Borealis AI. “Through this collaboration, Borealis AI researchers will support and work with Mila groups on computer vision and natural language processing algorithms.”

As part of this collaboration, together with RBC Quebec, Borealis AI donated $50,000 to Mila’s climate AI research efforts. This donation will help Mila develop a tool that uses AI technology to produce street view images that show the potential effects of climate change.

“Climate change is humanity’s biggest crisis and our hope is that we can apply machine learning to raise awareness regarding the future impacts of climate change, making it more concrete and more personalized, and ultimately trigger collective action,” says Yoshua Bengio, Founder and Scientific Director of Mila and professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research at Université de Montréal.

The tool’s goal is to raise awareness regarding climate change and to view the output of climate models in a visual way. When developed, the tool would allow a user to input a location and see a visual projection of the potential effects of extreme weather events at this location at street level, making these effects more visceral than traditional aerial and satellite images.

Aligned in our purpose, this project falls under the umbrella of “AI for Humanity”, an arm of Mila that focuses on research for social good. As such, all of the code and progress will be shared with the public, actively encouraging the tech community to get involved.

About Mila
Founded in 1993 by Professor Yoshua Bengio, Mila rallies the highest academic concentration of research and development in deep and reinforcement learning. Recognized globally for its significant contributions to the field of deep learning, Mila has distinguished itself in the areas of language modelling, machine translation, object recognition and generative models. Since 2017, Mila is the result of a partnership between the Université de Montréal and McGill University with Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal. In its new premises at the Mile-Ex, Mila create a unique space for innovation in artificial intelligence and technology transfer that will make use of interactions with industry and spark the emergence of start-ups while integrating the social impacts of technology in its projects.About

Borealis AI
Borealis AI, an RBC Institute for Research, is a curiosity-driven research centre dedicated to achieving state-of-the-art in machine learning. Established in 2016, with labs in Toronto/Waterloo, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver, Borealis AI supports open academic collaborations and teams up with world-class research centres in artificial intelligence. With a focus on ethical AI that will help communities thrive, the machine learning scientists perform fundamental and applied research in areas such as reinforcement learning, natural language processing, deep learning and unsupervised learning to solve ground-breaking problems in diverse fields. For more information please see: www.borealisai.com.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 86,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to more than 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.‎

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-sustainability.

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Media contact: Sabrina Fraser, RBC Corporate Communications, (647) 242-5696