Google announces $4M in funding for artificial intelligence research in Montreal

Google is renewing its commitment to Montreal’s Artificial Intelligence Institute, with an additional investment of $4 million over three years, the tech giant announced Monday.

Led by Yoshua Bengio, one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence (AI) in the world, MILA will continue its research on different applications of AI, especially in the health sector and the fight against COVID-19.

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“Google’s investment will allow us to do research to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence,” Bengio said.

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Bengio, a University of Montreal professor and founding director of MILA, is an expert in AI and credited with contributing to AI advances around the world.

MILA relies on AI applications that influence everyday life. The MILA team is currently working on LambdaZero, an algorithm that will help scientists find the most effective molecules to make new drugs. This system will make it possible to predict which combinations are most likely to work.

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Click to play video: 'New artificial Intelligence institute inaugurated in Montreal'
New artificial Intelligence institute inaugurated in Montreal

That’s because the sheer number of molecules and their possible combinations that must be studied is daunting. Scientists under Bengio hope that LambdaZero will predict the right combination much faster, hopefully leading to faster cures.

Within the next two months, the group hopes to begin tests to identify a new drug capable of fighting COVID-19.

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

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