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Canada has emerged as a leader in the global race to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and we need to ensure the continued freedom to operate and our country’s business competitiveness. Through a series of roundtables this spring, we are identifying positive outcomes for AI, exploring the range of policy options for investment, innovation, integration and workforce sustainability.

Key takeaways from our discussion on AI and the workforce include:

  • Cultivating talent with policy and geographic positioning
    The federal government has a key role to play in cultivating and retaining AI talent in Canada. Strong industry ecosystems and communities are critical for attracting and retaining AI talent. The launch of the AI supercluster in Montreal and supporting hubs like those in Toronto, Waterloo and Edmonton are good first steps toward strengthening existing ecosystems and communities, but there is currently a missed opportunity to capitalize on the innovation happening at the start-up level. The federal government needs to find a way to engage these fledgling business in the consultation process before designing funding arrangements.

  • Building workforce resiliency and entrepreneurship in skills-based training
    For those workers outside of the core-AI professional community, programs can be put in place to foster workforce resiliency. While AI will be disruptive in some areas, it will also present new opportunities to workers that require them to “up-skill” and “re-skill”.

  • Adopting the role of AI integrator is critical to business success
    The “integrator” function is critical to the successful development and use of AI technologies by a business. This “integrator” is the person or group within an organization that identifies the need for an AI solution, explores alternatives, acts as an interface between developers, senior management and other stakeholders and facilitates the implementation process.

 

Our roundtables will to help shape our advocacy work in the coming months leading up to the federal election. To learn more about our current advocacy initiatives, click here.

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