April 23, 2019 12:03 pm
Updated: April 24, 2019 7:31 pm

Edmonton SingularityU summit focused on using technology to solve world issues

WATCH ABOVE: Some of the world's brightest minds are in Edmonton for the SingularityU Canada Summit, exploring how technology, artificial intelligence and digital medicine can change the future. Kirsta Pawley from SingularityU and Tilly Lockey with Open Bionics explain.


Edmonton is hosting some of the world’s brightest minds this week to explore how technology, artificial intelligence and digital medicine can solve the world’s biggest challenges.

Alberta’s capital is hosting the SingularityU Canada Summit Tuesday and Wednesday, where innovators are converging to explore the impact of technology.

The two-day event includes presentations, workshops, networking events, product demos and panel presentations to examine how technology is transforming all sectors.

Representatives from a wide range of industries are attending the summit: from government officials and private sector leaders to students.

“We’re going to be welcoming 1,100 people on site; plus, an additional 1,000 youth into the room to really have this conversation about how are exponential technologies changing our world and how can Alberta, Edmonton and Canada be a leader in these conversations, what can that mean for our possible futures,” SingularityU spokesperson Krista Pawley said.

Watch below: The SingularityU Summit is attracting some of the brightest minds to Edmonton and some of them aren’t even old enough to vote. Emily Mertz has the details.

This is the second time SingularityU Canada has held the summit, with the first being held in Toronto in October 2017.

“While various cities in Canada have been recognized for their innovative initiatives, Edmonton is one that is leading the way in A.I., big data and healthcare,” SingularityU Canada President and CEO Oren Berkovich said.

“The city is made up of like-minded, enterprising business people, who are technologically driven and entrepreneurial-fuelled and we think this is the perfect place to highlight the leaders, creators, and innovators who are shaping Alberta, Canada, and the world.”

Tilly Lockey, 13, wearing her 3D-printed bio-mechanic Hero Arms.

Courtesy: Open Bionics

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Tilly Lockey, 13, traveled from the United Kingdom to make a presentation at the summit. She came down with Meningococcal Septicaemia Strain B when she was 15 months old and lost both of her hands.

Lockey has been working with prosthetic companies to develop the best prosthetic hands for amputees like her. Open Bionics — a U.K. based company — has developed a 3D-printed bio-mechanic hand called Hero Arm that Lockey now uses.

“I just want people to know that technology is getting better and better and these prosthetics are available for anyone who needs them,” Lockey said.

“It’s just so excited to see what the future holds and I can’t wait for everybody to be walking around with robotic limbs.”

Watch below: The second SingularityU Canada summit is being held in Edmonton and features some of the world’s top mind in technology. As Su-Ling Goh found out, it includes AI, nanotechnology and digital medicine.

Lockey said the technology has changed her life.

“I’ve been able to multi-task. I was able to drink hot chocolate and pull a suite case, cause when you don’t have hands you’re having to do everything with your two arms together and it was really hard for me to do two things at a time.”

READ MORE: Alberta announces $100M, 5-year investment in artificial intelligence

Sixty-one satellite events will also take place at the summit, which will allow an additional 6,000 people across Canada to participate.

“What we’re so excited in this conversation is to inspire youth to inspire to work with lead researchers, to really have these kind of moments that Tilly has inspired — where we start to look at technology and say, ‘It’s great to create a video game, it’s amazing to create a new emoji, but could we not use these technologies to really transform lives and create these inclusive conversations to challenge what our preconceptions are around abilities and potentials?'” Pawley said.

The summit is being held at the Edmonton Convention Centre.

WATCH BELOW: Edmonton has been quietly become a leader in artificial intelligence and other tech. Now it will host a prestigious summit. Oren Berkovich (SingularityU Canada) and Cheryll Watson (Innovate Edmonton)

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