TORONTO, September 27, 2023 – A report published today by Deloitte Canada’s AI Institute in collaboration with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and Canada’s three National AI Institutes: Amii, Mila, and the Vector Institute outlines how the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy has created significant social and economic benefits for Canada, with our AI sector outperforming that of many G7 peers.
Impact and Opportunities: Canada’s National AI Ecosystem Report – 2023 also details necessary steps that Canadian companies must take to seize on this moment of opportunity with this globally transformative technology.
Among the report’s highlights:
- Canada ranked first in the 5-year average year-over-year (YoY) growth rate in AI talent concentration compared to G7 nations.
- The number of AI patents filed nationally across Canada rose by 27% in 2021-2022 with 158 patents, and 57% in 2022-2023 with 248 patents. This rate of increase puts Canada second among G7 nations in 2022-2023.
- Canada ranks third among G7 countries in terms of its level of per capita VC investment in AI enablers, developers, and users, trailing only the US and UK.
- Canada leads the world in terms of bringing more women into AI roles, achieving the highest YoY percentage change in female AI talent globally since 2019, including 67% in 2022 alone.
- Canadian AI researchers produced more AI publications per capita in 2022 than any other G7 nation.
The report also includes findings from a survey conducted in March 2023 of 375 business executives and senior managers operating enterprises across Canada. It found significant room for improvement in the area of AI adoption, with just 26% of surveyed organizations having launched one or more AI implementations, compared with 34% globally. Forty-two percent had exploratory AI pilots in place, on par with their global counterparts. Only 36% of surveyed organizations globally felt their data-management and data-governance process maturity was in the mid-to-high range.
The report argues that Canada must sustain and accelerate Canada’s AI advantage through a multi-pronged approach that includes:
- Continuing to attract and grow world-leading talent;
- Strengthening AI fluency within Canada’s businesses, public sector, and communities;
- Investing in scalable AI opportunities;
- Continuing to lead global discussions around AI governance;
- Identifying strong use cases that drive value; and
- Leveraging CIFAR and Canada’s National AI Institutes to drive responsible AI development and use.
“With a community of nearly 1,500 researchers, experts and partners, Mila is at the heart of the AI ecosystem in Quebec and Canada. Quebec’s global impact on AI research and technology governance enables us to attract top talent from around the world and develop one of the largest AI communities in the world. Despite some challenges, Canada is positioned among the world’s leading forces in AI, and Mila is a central player in its success, as this report shows.”
—Valérie Pisano, CEO, Mila
“Canada has become the springboard to advance AI-fueled enterprises around the globe. Our openness to newcomers, our highly skilled workforce, our banking stability with access to global markets, and our commitment to a standard of living that is second to none has allowed us to translate our ideas and curiosity into tangible solutions that address real-world challenges and opportunities. Our future success depends on embracing an entrepreneurial, inclusive, and responsible culture that generates—and delivers on—these ideas for good. As we strive for success, we must be mindful of the challenges that exist across the AI ecosystem, including responsible and ethical AI deployment, targeted investments to scale AI-fuelled enterprises, talent acquisition, and AI fluency. By addressing these hurdles, we can move toward an environment that encourages innovation and provides a platform for AI-driven initiatives to thrive. Our collective efforts today will determine our position on the world stage tomorrow. This is how we shape the future of ethical AI and use of data to make an impact that matters for our communities, our country, and our planet.”
— Anthony Viel , Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Canada
“Since the launch of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy six years ago, Canada has experienced tremendous growth in our AI sector. This report confirms that Canada is viewed by the international AI research community as a rich source of new ideas and collaboration, ranking second in the world for AI research paper contributions per capita. It’s no accident that Canada is well-placed to lead in the development and commercialization of advances such as generative AI. This is the result of Canada’s long-standing leadership and investments in the advances and skills that make these new opportunities possible. It’s equally important that Canada is also a world leader in our prioritization of smart, principles-based legislation governing the use of AI, ensuring that this powerful technology will deliver positive social and economic benefits for all.”
– Elissa Strome, Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy at CIFAR
“We know that AI is not a passing trend; it is an ever-evolving force that will reshape industries and society, making it essential for individuals and businesses to invest in AI. Guided by our mission—AI for good and for all—Amii will continue to lead with ambition to increase broad-based AI literacy, advance fundamental AI research that tackles the most pressing and complex challenges facing the world today, and empower industry with responsible and ethical AI tools in order to stay ahead of and harness its transformative power. The barriers to getting started in applied AI have never been lower: Now is the time to act. It is no longer a choice of whether to be involved in AI or not—it’s whether to lead or be led.”
—Cam Linke, CEO, Amii
“The Vector Institute’s influence in Ontario is exemplified through our collaborative efforts to establish pathways that cultivate the AI skills employers need to advance our economy. By joining the Vector community, AI practitioners gain an extra incentive to stay in Ontario, actively contributing to our vibrant AI ecosystem. Vector’s unique position connects our community of researchers, industry sponsors, and health partners, which propels their growth and increases their impact.”
–Tony Gaffney, President and CEO, Vector Institute
The full report is available here: Impact and Opportunities: Canada’s National AI Ecosystem Report – 2023
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