January 28, 2019 5:50 pm
Updated: January 28, 2019 6:00 pm

Massive new centre for AI research opens in Montreal

WATCH: McGill University and Université de Montréal inaugurated a new artificial intelligence hub on Monday. As Global's Billy Shields, explains, it is being touted as a major step forward in AI, one that cements Montreal's position in the world of computer science.

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Researchers inaugurated Montreal’s Mila centre Monday morning, one of three such centres for the study of artificial intelligence in Canada.

Mila lies within a 90,000 square-foot building on St-Urbain Street in the Mile-Ex district.

READ MORE: Montreal’s booming artificial intelligence sector gains three more companies

It employs more than 35 professors from McGill University and l’Université de Montréal and more than 300 researchers.

“The rest of the world is now investing in this, it’s transforming society,” said Yoshua Bengio, Mila’s founder. “It’s becoming the tool for the next industrial revolution.”

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Researchers are tackling issues such as how machines recognize objects in the real world and interpret what they see.

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It’s a common problem facing the makers of driverless cars, but it takes on many dimensions.

“If you just show a machine one tiger, it won’t recognize other tigers, and it won’t know what’s not a tiger,” said Brady Neal, a master’s student at l’Université de Montréal.

Neal hopes his research will aid machines to be more discerning in the future.

Mila also includes 10 student startups and 13 corporate labs involving companies like Facebook, IBM and Samsung.

WATCH: Quebec Premier François Legault on Montreal’s booming AI sector

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