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Canada Looking to Maintain “Competitive Edge” in AI with $2.4 Billion Commitment

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024


The Federal government is setting aside $2.4 billion in its upcoming budget to build capacity in artificial intelligence. In this announcement, Justin Trudeau stated the $2.4 billion package will accelerate job growth in Canada’s AI sector, boost productivity by helping researchers and businesses develop and adopt AI, and ensure this is done responsibly.

The $2.4 billion package is expected to be allocated broadly:

  • Investing $2 billion to build and provide access to computing capabilities and technological infrastructure for Canada’s world-leading AI researchers, start-ups, and scale-ups.

  • Investing $200 million in boosting AI start-ups to bring new technologies to market, and accelerating AI adoption in critical sectors.

  • Investing $100 million in the NRC IRAP AI Assist Program to help small and medium-sized businesses scale up and increase productivity by building and deploying new AI solutions.

  • Investing $50 million supporting workers who may be impacted by AI, such as creative industries.

  • Creating a new Canadian AI Safety Institute, with $50 million to further the safe development and deployment of AI.

  • Investing $5.1 million strengthening enforcement of the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.

Innovation, Science and Industry Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, said Canada is a world leader in AI and we should embrace this, “let's stop asking what AI will do to us, and why don't we start asking what we want AI to do for us," he said.

Bill C-27 is the first federal legislation specifically aimed at artificial intelligence. It would update privacy laws and introduce new obligations for "high-impact" systems. The proposed law has been studied at committee since September 2023.

Author: Chris Osei-Kusi, 2023/2024 Articling Student


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