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HomeNewsCanadian NewsStrategic Partnership: Canada and Nvidia Take a Leap into the Future of...

Strategic Partnership: Canada and Nvidia Take a Leap into the Future of AI

Strategic Partnership

Canada and Nvidia have signed a letter of intent to improve processing capacity: Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne says.

The minister revealed on X, formerly Twitter, that the document was signed with the California-based behemoth, which recently saw its valuation exceed $1.5 trillion due to AI innovation.

Neither party disclosed the letter’s contents during Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s Thursday Toronto visit.

In an interview late Thursday, Huang told The Canadian Press that Minister Champagne wanted his help to ensure that Canada has access to cutting-edge technology to create its own infrastructure with appropriate finance.

We have partnered with Canada since the inception of deep learning, making it a crucial region and country for us to invest in.

AI infrastructure is prioritized in Canada and elsewhere. According to Huang, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Britain, France, and Italy are aware of the issue.

However, Canada has a unique chance.

Yoshua Bengio and Geoffrey Hinton, the “godfathers” of current AI, conducted research in Canada, according to Huang. They and Yann LeCun earned the A.M. Turing Award, known as “the Nobel Prize of computing”.

Bengio and Hinton founded the Vector Institute in Toronto and Mila in Montreal as AI research clusters.

Between Montreal and Toronto, Canada offers rich and major AI research, Huang added.

Don’t waste that and make sure these researchers get the tools and money they need to advance the science they invented.”

Huang spoke to a Canadian Press reporter at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto while eating sushi and sliders in his distinctive black leather jacket.

He appeared before an invite-only audience with Waabi’s Raquel Urtasun, Cohere’s Aidan Gomez, the Vector Institute’s Alán Aspuru-Guzik, and Deep Genomics’ Brendan Frey.

Huang informed the audience, “There are a lot of different things that we have to do in order to accelerate the ecosystem here in Canada.”

The government must provide encouragement and support, inspire young researchers to pursue research in Canada, and provide opportunities for them after graduation.

Stephen Toope, president of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, agreed that Canada has talent and research.

However, Toope said that U.K. business Tortoise reported that Canada’s worldwide AI skill rating had declined in recent years. It also fell in AI capacity, which assesses a nation’s AI adoption and progress.

Toope worries about its AI infrastructure ranking dropping from 15 to 23 between 2021 and 2023.

“My fear is that we could reach a point where the people who we brought here and retained here actually can’t do the work they want to do because they don’t have access to the computing power,” said Toope.

Computer power comes from semiconductors, data centers, and power sources.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which Apple and Nvidia use, makes most chips. The 1993-founded Nvidia designs graphics processing units, which improve gaming and creative applications, but often outsources their production.

Many doubt Canada, which has major foundries, could challenge Taiwan Semiconductor.

“Quite frankly, Canada is not in the short term, or even the medium term, likely to build out massive capacity to produce the kind of chips that are required for AI,” said Toope.

“Too complicated and expensive.”

Canada’s Semiconductor Council reported in 2021 that semiconductor fabrication facilities, or chips, can cost US$5 billion in land, equipment, and materials, while advanced logic and memory factories can cost US$20 billion.

Canada needn’t advance chips. Many firms make chips, Huang added.

Instead of making chips, Toope wants the country to embrace a purchasing consortium supported by the Canadian government and including public and private entities to more efficiently procure computing capability.

“It’s not making its own chips, but it’s a kind of sovereignty because we’ve got a guaranteed supply,” said.

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