This the second part of three on how AI regulation is a chance to fix deeper problems

Just one of the many things the pandemic disrupted last year were exams. In the UK, the A-level exams are make-or-break moments for many students, their university admissions conditional on the results. They are the culmination of a student’s high school career, influencing their trajectory for years ahead. As most students will confirm, the certainty of an exam’s outcome is unclear until that final moment to prove oneself passes and the results arrive. It is a chance to make up for missed assignments…

Self-regulation doesn’t work. The interests of business are too narrow, and it is too easy for them to say better practices are too hard. Our narratives about business and technology further abstract away the power the makers and owners of machines have to make different choices. The only counter-balance is government intervention, influenced by civic action. Unfortunately, that intervention usually comes very long after people have made the problems clear. When it does come, the changes made are poorly negotiated but touted as a great victory for society as a whole.

The Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA), Europe’s new bill for…

See The 2019 Canadian AI Ecosystem

Canada’s academic research expertise helped the country become a leader in the AI startup boom. As the ecosystem matures, those early startups — powered by big ideas — are facing the challenge of operationalizing products in the market. This challenge requires industry expertise, but that expertise will still need to be derived from academia’s AI labs.

According to our latest map of Canadian AI players, the ecosystem is becoming leaner as winners and losers emerge. One of our main metrics for ecosystem growth we have looked at has been the number of AI companies…

A little over nine months ago I was honoured to be chosen as the sole non-European expert to provide input, both from a Canadian and an industry perspective, into the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI (AI HLEG). Yesterday we published our final Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence.

In these guidelines, we pursue a “human-centric approach,” informed by human and fundamental rights such as dignity, freedom, equality and justice. …

Read the full report

For the second year in a row, my team and I have surveyed the global AI talent pool to try to piece together a broad view of its size and state. We found that while demand for top-tier AI talent has never been higher, AI specialists with strong educational profiles and experience are still relatively rare.

This should be no news to anyone: we knew from the outset that demand outstripped supply. This was supported by anecdotal accounts from recruiters, who report being unable to find skilled workers to fill AI job vacancies. Several recent surveys

It used to be that people would study a process, its inputs and its outputs, to write code that could automate that process. Building such software is a form of capturing intellectual property in digital form, and until now it has been a cognitive task mostly driven by humans. Today AI is writing its own software, extracting signal from noise, figuring out the rules by itself; it’s taking on that cognitive task of digitally codifying the world. It is revolutionizing what can be automated and the scale at which it can be deployed. …

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

Next week I’m headed to Brussels to be confirmed as a member of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI (you can check the link for the mandate and full list of members). Non-European representatives are incredibly rare occurrences in the EC’s HLGs and I’m honored to have been accepted as we’ll be acting as the steering committee for the European AI Alliance’s work. It is an incredible initiative to support broad collaboration across domains of expertise, industry, society and nationality. I applied to join because Europe has been setting the example for creating the much-needed frameworks for cooperation…

Welcome to the now “annual” Canadian AI Ecosystem Map. What a year it’s been.

The point of creating this map was to emphasize that the strength lies in the Canadian AI Ecosystem, as opposed to just one city’s. This year, we’ve seen ties strengthen, but also some weaknesses exposed. What I see now is a corridor of cities, each remarkable in their own right, coming together into a cohesive form that is comparable in size and influence with the US East Coast or Paris and London.

See the full report here. The report also goes to feed the excellent (and…

I reached out for help a little while ago on Twitter and on LinkedIn to assess the size and state of the global AI talent pool — a crucial issue for the entire industry going forward. Thank you to those of you from around the world who responded in large numbers. Your generous input has gone into a new report that we at Element AI have developed. We now have a more detailed picture of the size and characteristics of the pool of AI experts going into 2018. I see this report as a living document that will continue growing…

Photo by Ghost Presenter on Unsplash

I often get asked what are the most important skills for a student to learn going into the coming decade of new AI technology. I have some ideas about why I’m asked this, but it still surprises me how desperate some people are to know the “secret” winning skills of the future.

The World Economic Forum’s own list for 2020 is basically a shuffle of their list from 2015, with complex problem solving at the top of both. And while I don’t know exactly how long it’s been around, I don’t think it’s a particularly new idea that college education…

Jean-Francois Gagné

CEO @ElementAI

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