Tag Archives: ai

Montreal, AI powerhouse, according to Wired

Wired magazine ran a story this weekend declaring Montreal as a clear winner in artificial intelligence.

Wired magazine claims that due to cheap office rent and “community feel” Montreal is able to capture a lead in AI space.

According to PwC, Montreal has raised more capital than any other Canadian cities with total value of investment over $800m. When comparing to the US or San Francisco or New York that is very small but when comparing to other cities in Canada, that’s quite a large chunk of money.

Enticed by Montreal’s low cost of doing business and its research in AI, companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google opened offices in Montreal. Even Canadian government pledged further $200m to subsidize the growing AI industry in Montreal.

Yoshua Bengio, world-renowned expert in deep learning, claims Montreal is becoming “a mini Silicon Valley”.

Damien Silès, director of the Quartier de l’innovation, an experimental city laboratory, claims Montreal success is due to Montreal’s

“speaking French with joie de vivre but we’re acting North American – it’s totally different.”

There is also dirt cheap rent in Monteal that’s been low since major companies moved away from Quebec in the 80s and 90s and took head offices and thousands of jobs with them to mainly neighboring province of Ontario.

Quebec has also been struggling as of late to keep people to stay in their province – statistics show that Quebec had a net loss of 37,000 in the last 5 years. This can be attributed to many negative factors in Quebec such as very high taxes, low salaries, negative attitudes towards minorities, and French requirements.

Jack Jedwab, President of the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration said:

“”I think some of the things that are driving these departures, which are taxation issues, higher income, are things the government needs to work on.

The government needs to be working on lowering people’s taxes. Probably that’ll create a bit more motivation for people who don’t want to leave and want to explore opportunities here with the knowledge that the amount of income they risk losing due to taxation is in a better position.”

Team Fluent.ai after another long and tiring but successful day at #CES. Come by our booth #80927 in Sands Expo.

Wired also highlighted some leading AI firms in Montreal as being:

  • Automat
  • Mylo
  • Dialogue
  • wrnch
  • Fluent.ai
  • Element AI

But Montreal can win big if it stays open minded and can generate some success stories. Philippe Telio, founder of Montreal Startupfest, says that the only thing holding Montreal back, is a breakout success story.

“Like any community we’re starting to see some great successes, but like any great ecosystem we need a couple of billion-dollar companies to showcase.”

Common Montreal you can do it! You can see list of top AI firms to work for in Montreal we published few months ago.

Top 10 companies Hiring for AI Jobs in Canada

In Canada it is starting to be good to be an AI developer and / or data AI analyst, AI scientist. According to a new report by Indeed, AI jobs in Canada have risen over 1,069% from 2013.

To compile their report Indeed looked at all available AI jobs posted on their website across different industries in Canada, UK and US.

The result that they got found that AI jobs rose by almost 1,069% since 5 years and are growing at much higher rates than in countries like UK and USA.

Jodi Kasten, managing director at Indeed Canada, said

“Advances in artificial intelligence have stoked fears of large-scale job loss, our data shows that AI can help create jobs, too. These jobs are also found in a variety of industries including finance and tech and for a budding and complex technology like AI, there will be continued need for highly-skilled workers to develop and maintain a wide range of AI applications in Canada.”

Top two out of three companies hiring for AI in Canada are Canadian banks trying to catch up with AI due to the disruption in their industry. It is also nice to see Amazon on the list as #5 as they are hiring more and more engineers in Vancouver and Toronto.

The top ten list is listed below of Canadian companies hiring for artificial intelligence jobs.

Ranking Company % of Postings Meeting Criteria
1 RBC 6%
2 IBM 4%
3 Scotiabank 2%
4 KPMG 2%
5 Amazon.com 2%
6 LoyaltyOne 2%
7 TD Bank 2%
8 Kinaxis 1%
9 Huawei 1%
10 Capital One 1%

Toronto Is Among Fastest Growth Tech Innovation Hubs

According to KPMG recent report The Changing Landscape of Disruptive Technologies, Toronto was named a leader in the technology innovation hubs. Toronto has been in the news a lot lately due to being picked as a potential Amazon pick for HQ2 and other reports ranking Toronto highly when it comes to technology.

The report stated that:

“In Canada, Toronto’s strong ecosystem helped it draw 6 percent of the globe vote while on the western coast, Vancouver was named 1 percent of the respondends as a potential leading hub over the next four years. The tech sector in Canada continues to demonstrate robust growth led by advances in AI.”

Anuj Madan , Partner, Audit & National Industry Leader, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, added:

“Canada’s tech sector continues to surge, and the country remains a target destination for thriving global companies and entrepreneurs seeking access to a diverse, highly skilled and milticultural workforce. Smart, early-stage investment in AI and fintech have helped Canada become a research leader in machine learning and deep learning, setting stage for Industry 4.0.”

While Toronto is not #1 in the research it did beat out cities like Hong Kong and many US cities like Los Angeles , Seattle and Austin, Texas.

When it came to Canada , report mentioned that investments in AI and fintech helped Canada tech sector to thrive. As well as university research and infrastructure is there to support the ecosystem. Local companies like Shopify and Blackberry cemented Canada’s status as leader in R&D and innovation.

Toronto is home to over 4,000 startups making it one of largest hub in the world when it comes to tech. Toronto added 22,500 jobs in a matter of one year in 2016 with companies like Google and Amazon hiring more developers in Toronto.

ms416 / Pixabay

Report also highlited that Toronto will soon be developed as a smart city by Google’s Alphabet. It will be first in North America to be built around IT and use data about traffic , noise, air quality, and peformance of systems.

Report also mentioned Waterloo region as Toronto’s sidekick and only 18 minutes away by plane from Toronto. Report said that Waterloo is one of the best and top performing tech markets.

Canada is a leader in AI with fed government investing $96m USD to accelerate research and commercialization of AI.

Last but not least, report highlighted that over 300 fintech companies call Canada home and expecting accelerated growth over the next 5 years. Report notes the reason for growth is due to big banks getting into the game due to market disruption by starting their own or buying our fintech and AI startups.

ifinnsson / Pixabay

Report wrapped up with few notes to highlight a potential downside to sector’s growth.

  • First thing highlighted was Canada politeness, shyness and under ambition when it came to money. KPMG said that instead of growing their startups into billion dollar corporations, a lot of founders decide to exit via acquisition. The average exit is only $8m. With almost 2 million Canadian companies in existence, the ones that go the distance and achieve true scale can be counted on your fingers.
  • The second thing highlighted was NAFTA renegotiations, cross border regulations and how much Canada stands to lose.

14 AI Companies Hiring Now in Toronto

Update: We have recently learned that both Amazon and Uber are hiring for AI tech jobs in Toronto such as AI Research Scientist (Self Driving), Computer Vision & Machine Learning Engineer/Research, and Data Scientist.

freestocks-photos / Pixabay

Artificial intelligence took off like a wild fire in the last few years with Federal Government of Canada supporting the industry with millions of dollars in grants.

Not surprising Toronto has taken a lead in this AI domain, and has over 45 active artificial intelligence organizations employing over 1,500 employees and raised more than $170 million dollars.

Below we list the most prominent 14 leaders in AI space in the Greater Toronto Area as well as Waterloo.

12019 / Pixabay

Top Artificial Intelligence AI Companies Hiring in Toronto

AisleLabs 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaK0l4tDUI5/?hl=en&taken-by=aislelabs

Aislelabs’ technology transforms brick and mortar locations to smart venues, resulting in effective marketing, increased sales, and better customer satisfaction. We serve enterprise customers globally including major shopping centres, airports, transit hubs, big box retail chains and venues.

Angoss Software 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGMyZZiqBpe/?hl=en&taken-at=216316618741515

Angoss is a global leader in delivering predictive analytics to businesses looking to improve performance across risk, marketing and sales. With a suite of big data analytics software solutions and consulting services, Angoss delivers powerful approaches that provide you with a competitive advantage by turning your information into actionable business decisions.

BenchSci

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUNIAlTl7BM/?hl=en&taken-by=benchsci

For biomedical researchers who are starting experiments, BenchSci is a reagent intelligence platform that transforms published data into experiment-specific recommendations to reduce time, money and uncertainty in planning materials and methods.

Canopy Labs

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVaQdUzgV9t/?hl=en&taken-by=canopylabs

Every customer reaches a buying decision in their unique way – Canopy Labs helps businesses to track and optimize their customer journey.

Hubba

A post shared by Hubba (@hubbahq) on

Our goal for the Hubba Discovery Network is to be the first place buyers and influencers start every journey to learn about interesting and new brands and products. We are product people, too, and we built a site for product people like you.

PumpUp

A post shared by PumpUp (@pumpup) on

PumpUp is a positive community to share and achieve your health goals. The PumpUp community is a safe and supportive space to share your journey toward a healthy body and healthy mind. Share your challenges and triumphs, track your fitness, and receive unparalleled support from a global community of like-minded people. PumpUp equips you with the tools you need to live a healthy lifestyle in a positive way. With millions of inspiring people cheering you on, it’s never been easier to become the best version of you!

Rubikloud

A post shared by Rubikloud (@rubikloud) on

We believe that making intelligent decisions can be made easier with AI and today we have multi-billion-dollar clients with retail brands operating in North America, Europe, and Asia.

StackAdapt

A post shared by StackAdapt (@stackadapt_) on


StackAdapt is the no. 1 performing native advertising platform helping brands accelerate customer engagement and acquisition. This state-of-the-art platform is where some of the most progressive work in machine learning meets cutting-edge user experience. Ranking the highest in customer satisfaction and performance by G2 Crowd in the DSP category for the fourth time, StackAdapt is one of the fastest growing companies in Canada and ranks 6th in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 ranking and 23rd in Fast 500 in North America.

Kognitive Marketing

https://www.instagram.com/p/kptiomHas0/?taken-at=133693885

At Kognitive Marketing we create engaging experiential marketing campaigns that consumers actually want to participate in, thus increasing customer conversions and maximizing sales and brand equity for the client.

Maropost

A post shared by Maropost (@maropost) on

Maropost is a B2C cloud-based revenue optimization suite that gives companies the ability to increase multi-channel customer engagement to maximize revenue. Through integrated marketing and sales automation, Maropost provides essential tools, strategic guidance, and support needed to create more personalized customer experiences through a 360-degree business view – from marketing automation to CRM, commerce, and customer support.

Naborly

A post shared by Naborly (@naborly.inc) on

Naborly has reinvented how credit reports and scores work for the rental industry to help landlords know who they’re renting to, while helping tenants build credit by just paying their rent!

Nanoleaf

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba61BcaB06c/?taken-by=nanoleaf

Together with its global team of creative problem-solvers, Nanoleaf is ushering in a new era of beautifully personalized lighting experiences. This brave new world extends far beyond the lightbulb and into a new reality where lighting transforms to meet your needs for every moment of every day. Every product created by Nanoleaf embodies our philosophy of ‘Smarter by Design.’

Viafoura

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ4F3HzB_nb/?taken-by=viafoura

Viafoura empowers over 600 media brands to engage, discover, and grow their audience through seamlessly integrated user registration, engagement, moderation, and analytics modules–all in one platform.

Zoom.AI

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bds3bHTBCYo/?taken-by=zoom.ai

Zoom.ai is SaaS start-up, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to enrich all employees’ work experience while increasing workplace productivity. Zoom.ai operates like a virtual helper, chatting with each employee in their favorite chat application and off-loading repetitive, low-value, day-to-day tasks. Key tasks include document generation, corporate information discovery, and full lifecycle calendaring.

TD Bank buys Toronto AI startup

Layer 6, Toronto AI startup, was acquired by TD. This will help TD bank with their artificial intelligence ambitions as many financial institutions started rushing into AI space.

The acquisition price was not disclosed. The company will remain in their mid town Toronto location, and will do work exclusively for TD from now on.

Activedia / Pixabay

Michael Rhodes, the TD bank’s group head of innovation, technology and shared services, said:

“We’ve made enormous investments in data and data infrastructure over the past several years, ” Mr. Rhodes said. “We didn’t have substantive intellectual capital around AI, so this actually filled in a gap for us.”

This is the first AI deal where AI company gets acquired by a bank. Artificial intelligence could potentially help banks with their cost management and client satisfaction rates.

Layer 6 AI (layer6.ai) enables enterprise clients to deploy the most advanced Deep Learning solutions to accelerate their business through better use of data. Layer 6 AI SaaS clients include large Financial Service and Insurance firms, Media/Cable companies, E-Commerce and Retail brands, and news publications.

Canada has seen an influx of US based Fortune 500 companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Lyft and Amazon over the last few years.

AI and machine learning startups in Canada had received over $400m Canadian dollars in investment funds over the last 3 years.

WerbeFabrik / Pixabay

TD has published the following statement on their media website regarding the acquisition:

There’s no denying that there’s a lot of hype around AI in the marketplace. So what’s the opportunity for banking? And more importantly, how does this tie back to TD’s strategy of solving for business problems, vs. chasing the next trend?

For us, it all comes down to how AI can be used drive value for our customers through predictive and personalized experiences. It does this in the following ways:

  1. AI takes banking back to the 1970’s.  No doubt  AI is the future of banking, but the irony is that it will actually take us back to a time (somewhere around the early 1970’s) when we knew everything about each and every one of our customers, truly understanding  their needs at a personal level, and offered services to support those needs. Today with the amount of available data to power our AI capabilities, we have a tremendous opportunity to know our customer better and deliver experiences they wouldn’t have ever imagined.

  2. AI makes our people better. By creating better insights at the right time in the right channels, the technology can help people do their jobs better, more efficiently, and with a better customer experience.

  3. AI is making banking more human. When we talk about becoming an AI or data driven organization, we mean that we are focused on driving value from the data that we have to deliver better experiences for our customers, making banking better. Think of it this way – a phone channel colleague will be able to have a more meaningful conversation because software is analyzing the customer’s journey and needs in real-time; loans can be approved faster; and digital applications can provide more personalized offers, advice and interactions, and so much more. It’s about knowing our customers better to bring value and simplify the banking experience – and their lives.

Montreal Fluent.ai Startup Helping with Speech Recognition

Fluent.ai is a disruptive speech recognition startup based in Montreal, Canada.

We have sat down with CEO Niraj Bhargava to get some answers.

So what are you guys all about?

We are developing cutting-edge deep-learning techniques to enable acoustic-only speech recognition technology capable of running offline on-device without requiring a cloud connection. By associating speech to intent without requiring a speech-to-text translation, Fluent.ai offers a highly accurate and robust speech recognition system that is also able to learn or be customized by the end user. This opens a wide variety of new applications and use-cases unattainable using incumbent methods.

Who started the company?

A key co-founder of the company is Vikrant Tomar. Vikrant has a PhD in machine learning and speech recognition. Apart from Vikrant, our team consists of four other machine learning experts. I am a P.Eng and serial entrepreneur with 25 years business leadership experience.

How are you being financed?

US$1.5 million (CND$2 million) from TandemLaunch Inc., a group of Angels and VCs including Business Development Bank of Canada, Maple Leaf Angels, Creative Destruction Lab, Danhua Capital (Silicon Valley), and 500 Startups Canada.

What do you think will be/is a big obstacle to overcome?

Developing top talent has been a large obstacle to overcome, especially now that a number of big companies have opened their AI research labs in Montreal. This has created intense competition in hiring.

How do you go about finding good developers/IT guys for your company?

Networking and referrals has been important for us to find top talent.

Who is your biggest competition?

Fluent.ai offers a very different technical approach to the speech recognition problem. A number of big players are active in the speech recognition market, such as Google, Amazon, Apple etc. However, we look at these as potential partners, because our technology offers features and capabilities complementary to what the other players offer.

How are you intending on taking your company to $1 million in revenues? In what markets?

Yes to $1 million in revenues, in the markets of consumer electronics, telecom and automotive.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

While we always knew this was key, we have learned to appreciate even more the importance of having a solid plan and achieving its optimal execution. Sometimes things move at a different speed than expected—this is particularly true in a business-to-business world. Having a solid plan with multiple options has helped us to avoid tough times and maintain the company’s growth.

8 Montreal AI Companies Looking To Hire Now

Montreal is quickly becoming AI center in North America with all the hype of Facebook opening their AI office in Montreal recently.

But in case you can not get job with Facebook in Montreal but really want to get into artificial intelligence and big data – where do you look? Do not worry – we got you covered.

Eight Montreal Artificial Intelligence Companies Hiring Right Now

 

GOOGLE

No explanation needed who and what kind of company Google is. They recently open software division in Montreal and are now looking for various AI scientist / data specialists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Google at their Montreal office 

MICROSOFT

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQdJJI1AvTY/?taken-at=255771124

Microsoft also needs no introduction. They are looking for positions like Principal Solution Specialist Data & AI.

« Microsoft is excited to engage with faculties, students and the broader tech community in Montreal, which is becoming a global hub for AI research and innovation. »

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Microsoft at their Montreal office 

AUTOMAT

Conversational Marketing for Brands. They are looking for AI research specialists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Automat at their Montreal office 

ELEMENT AI

AI company who recently broke the record for most money raised in the AI industry ($140m to exact), they now have enough money to pay your salary. They are hiring various AI developers and researchers.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Element AI at their Montreal office 

FLUENT.AI

Building personalized and noise-robust voice user interfaces. They are looking for Machine Learning Scientists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Fluent AI at their Montreal office 

IMAGIA

To serve patients and our customers by dramatically improving accessible personalized medicine driven by advances in AI. Imagia has been naped top AI healthcare startup companies in the world.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Imagia at their Montreal office 

NUANCE

Speech recognition company. They are looking for Research Scientists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Nuance at their Montreal office 

 

SPORTLOGIQUE

Provider of advanced analytics data for professional hockey teams and broadcast media. They are looking for computer vision researchers as well as developers with passion for hockey of course.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Sportlogique at their Montreal office