McGill University has announced the opening of a new international artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory in Montreal, confirming the city’s status as a leader in the field.
The initiative is a joint venture between McGill University, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), Mila – Quebec AI Institute, France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Paris-Saclay, and the École CentraleSupélec.
Known as the International Laboratory on Learning Systems (ILLS), the lab will facilitate the pooling and acquisition of new theoretical knowledge in the field of artificial intelligence. The announcement specified that while great strides have been made in AI recently, there is still a pressing need for new theoretical knowledge to better understand not only the capacities of this new technology, but how it achieves its results.
The facility will focus on five main research topics: fundamental aspects of AI, sequential (real-time) machine learning, robust autonomous systems, natural language and speech processing, as well as possible applications to vision systems, signals and information processing.
The ILLS will also emphasize interdisciplinary collaborations, aiming to develop new methodologies and integrate these techniques into machine learning systems.
“This new laboratory confirms Montreal’s global leadership in AI,” said Benoit Boulet, associate vice-principal, research & innovation at McGill University. “This is a major hub with a talent pool that continues to deepen, and McGill researchers and students are embedded at every level of this activity. This new initiative will offer opportunities for our researchers to make even more breakthrough discoveries.”
The lab will join Montreal’s already buzzing artificial intelligence (AI) sector, which has attracted numerous public and private investments for the past few years. As a result, the city is now one of the world’s spearheads of AI, with approximately 27,000 workers and more than 14,000 post-secondary students enrolled in AI-related programs.