Canada holds a special place in my heart. This nation invested in artificial neural network research when it was largely discredited (or at least ignored) by the mainstream AI research community. Two decades later, their support produced the most of the world’s leading thinkers who solved some of the hardest problems we struggled with for years. Computers could finally see, hear, read, write and create as good as, if not better than, many human beings. The leaders later earned the Turing Prize, handed out by an engineer at Google who joined their ranks in 2010. That engineer now leads Google’s entire research department!
When leaders in Alberta, Canada reached out to me and asked if I’d speak to their business community on AI, I was deeploy honored. I did my best, talking about the rise of a new type of software, where computers now write the most sophisticated code in many leading institutions. This software was enabled by the very same Canadian researches who stuck with neural networks since the 80’s. I kicked off their annual gathering of technologists and joined a panel in the afternoon.