Choose Canada to study artificial intelligence
Cutting edge research, entrepreneurship and career opportunities
Canada is a world-leading artificial intelligence (AI) research hub with high-growth career opportunities. More than 34,000 new innovative jobs are expected to be created over the next 10 years. Working in AI in Canada means collaborating with academics, private sector and government.
Study at some of the world’s top institutions offering AI and innovation programs across the country. Studying AI in Canada will also give you the chance to:
- Live in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa that rank in CBRE’s top 20 tech talent markets in North America
- Test and launch your business ideas at university incubators, accelerators and entrepreneurship hubs
- Join the world’s highest educated workforce and more than 800 AI companies
- Work among international tech companies that have new AI research labs in Canada, including Facebook, Google’s DeepMind, and Uber
What is AI?
AI transforms the way that we live and work. We use AI in our daily lives, from asking Siri for directions, to getting Netflix movie recommendations and drones shipping products to customers. Companies are creating innovative solutions by using subsets of AI such as machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing.
AI opportunities across industries
Canada’s AI and innovation industries are growing. Business leaders, entrepreneurs and students like you from around the world are finding success in Canada. Here are some examples of growing industries with research and career opportunities for international talent:
Narrator: Meet Azadeh Dastmalchi. Azadeh began her study in Canada adventure in 2010 at the University of Ottawa. Since then, she completed her master's degree in biomedical engineering, became a Canadian citizen, and started her own company called Vital Tracer—a medical start-up that builds smart watches that measure blood pressure. We spoke to Azadeh to learn more about her journey and the start-up ecosystem in Canada.
On-screen text: EduCanada Asks: Why did you decide to study in Canada?
Azadeh Dastmalchi CEO Vital Tracer: It has a very strong history in STEM, like in insulin and telecommunications. And on the other hand, it's a multicultural country. It gives us—not only us, but our parents—peace of mind that we are in a safe country, studying, every single day.
On-screen text: EduCanada Asks: How did you get the idea to build the watch?
Azadeh Dastmalchi: The idea of the watch originally came from when my dad got high blood pressure and medical doctors asked him to take his measurements three times per day for a week, and he didn't like it at all. When I asked him the main issue, he said that it's hard to install and that the cuff, which inflates and deflates, he doesn't like it at all. So I find that OK, if we can build a technology like the watch, that would be the best solution.
Narrator: Azadeh’s solution was a smartwatch that uses optical sensors and artificial intelligence, powered by machine learning algorithms, to measure blood pressure. In recent years, Montreal has become an artificial intelligence hub for students, researchers and businesses. For Azadeh, Montreal was the perfect city to launch her start-up.
Azadeh Dastmalchi: I heard about lots of very good programs for entrepreneurship in Montreal, especially that they are more concentrated on A.I. I can say that since 2019 until now, we got around half a million dollars from Quebec government funds from the Ministry of Economy and Innovations, from Concordia D3, from IQ—which is Invest Quebec—and from Prompt. And these are all funds to support building our technology in terms of MVP—minimum viable product.
Going to the commercialization version, getting Health Canada’s approval and a bit of support for our clinical validation in hospitals.
Narrator: Entrepreneurship is a journey full of uncertainty and challenges. But despite all of the obstacles, Azadeh found her success in Canada.
Azadeh Dastmalchi: Canada’s government, during the pandemic, was super supportive for the SMEs—small and medium entrepreneurs—and for start-ups. Lots of support and subsidies for wages, funds, grants. And they helped us not only about the monetary, but in terms of mentoring, lots of free programs to make us move forward.
- AI health services for disease prevention, early diagnosis, virtual care and personalized treatment
- Big data to help fight climate change
- Augmented reality to maintain and inspect large transportation vehicles
- Quantum computing solutions
On-screen question: what makes Additive Manufacturing a leading-edge field?
Dr. Ehsan Toyserkani, Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: Additive manufacturing, which is known as 3D printing, is a layer by layer manufacturing that is poised to really change the entire manufacturing enterprise in the next decade and also is one of the most valued manufacturing technology in history.
Dr. Mihaela Vlasea, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: Additive manufacturing is really a suite of technologies that allow us to print components by adding one unit of material at a time within a layer and then stacking these layers together to generate parts. It's a truly digital way of creating a product.
Heba Farag, PhD Student, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, University of Waterloo: For me, it was a new area. I wanted to explore it more. I think it's now one of the most innovative and important areas that everyone should explore, and we should have it involved within our daily life and our life in general.
Osezua Ibhadode, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, University of Waterloo: Additive manufacturing is the manufacturing for the future, manufacturing for Industry 4.0. It's going to really change the world. It’s going to change the way we address or we approach designing and manufacturing.
Dr. Ehsan Toyserkani, Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: It has been amazing to see how many companies especially in a specific area, like aerospace, tooling and also the medical industry, are just adopting additive manufacturing for their product.
Dr. Mihaela Vlasea,Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: So really, this is opening up a lot of new opportunities in the manufacturing sectors that we did not have before. So this is why it's really exciting to leverage this set of technologies.
On-screen question: why is Canada a great place to study advanced manufacturing?
Dr. Ehsan Toyserkani, Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: We are one of the top five academic centers in the world because we are working with talents in the lab. We have generated intellectual property over the last 15 years. We have been the first group in Canada that started working on additive manufacturing back in 2000 2001.
Dr. Mihaela Vlasea,Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: What we do is we actually expose students to some of the cutting edge technologies to enable them to actually exercise research questions that you could not anywhere else within Canada and perhaps globally.
Osezua Ibhadode, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, University of Waterloo: I think the major reason why I chose this school was number one: they really have a world class reputation, right? I also know that they are all really innovative. They delve a lot into these career and entrepreneurship initiatives.
Dr. Mihaela Vlasea,Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: We have a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem where students come in with a mindset, with an entrepreneurial mindset. Not only that, but University of Waterloo attracts a lot of different industry engagements. So what that means is that students actually rephrase or reformulate their research questions to try to actually envision technologies of tomorrow based on the problems of today.
Heba Farag, PhD Student, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, University of Waterloo: The students we all talk about different things and share knowledge, and it's just a very good environment because we all come from different backgrounds and we know, for example, for me, PhD is not only about science. Also, I'd like to learn from other nationalities, other cultures. Canada is really one of the… like…maybe number one on my list for the countries where I want to stay or want to work, and after I finish my PhD.
On-screen question: How can students excel in Artificial Intelligence?
Dr. Mihaela Vlasea, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professor, University of Waterloo: Each student's vision of their research path is quite unique, so when you're looking at a graduate program or reaching out to pursue a graduate program or even an internship in a university lab, I think expressing the passion for what you really want to pursue as a career is one of the most important things that stand out.
Heba Farag, PhD Student, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, University of Waterloo: Be ready to work hard because to have a title of doctor beside your name is not going to happen between a day and night. It's going to require a lot of work, a lot of commitments, and that's after you get accepted in your PhD or your masters.
Osezua Ibhadode, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, University of Waterloo: I think if you're considering engineering, if you're considering additive manufacturing, if you're considering these stem-related fields, I advise you to keep up that passion, right, to keep up that that desire and go for it.
Heba Farag, PhD Student, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, University of Waterloo: Focus; focus on the main target and it will all pay off at the end, you know. So that’s it.
On-screen text: Footage courtesy of: Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab | University Of Waterloo
- AI enabled technology to forecast manufacturing accidents and potential downtime
- Digital simulations to improve product development and design
- Industrial robotics that automate repetitive tasks and optimize processing times
- Fully automated facilities that revolutionize food-grade production
More than 13,500 jobs expected to be created in the next 10 years.
On-screen question: how does artificial intelligence fit into farming?
Dr. Ian Stavness, Associate Professor Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan: Farmers are very tech savvy and they’re very forward looking, and they’re adopters of this technology, and I think that artificial intelligence (AI) provides an opportunity to take a lot of the information that farmers are collecting or could have access to and try to refine that down to the sort of most important information that they need to make decisions. At the University of Saskatchewan, we’ve been really focusing on trying to bring together computer science researchers, together with plant science researchers and soil science researchers to find new ways to provide data driven technology, data analysis, data collection for plant breeders and for farmers to improve their operations.
Myself and my colleagues in the technical side just feel that we can have a really, really big impact by bringing these new technologies into this area.
On-screen question: what is the impact of AI research on modern agriculture?
Masi Aslahi, PhD Student Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan: In my research I’m working with aerial agricultural images, but our team mainly works on outdoor agricultural imagery. When the drone is flying over the field, they just capture images approximately every second, and we have lots of images. But I would say this technique would help with sustainability, which is actually the biggest problem of our world today. And I think this technique works because what is a concern for us is how to keep our planet green and how to use water resources or even actually soil resources very wisely without damaging the environment.
Dr. Ian Stavness, Associate Professor Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan: I think one of the things I’m most excited about is using this type of imaging-based artificial intelligence. So using pictures of crops and artificial intelligence to help improve precision spraying of pesticides and herbicides, where we’re working to develop AI models to identify very precisely weeds from these overhead or drone pictures of fields. The idea being that rather than a farmer spraying his entire field with an herbicide, he can go through the field and just spray herbicide exactly where it’s needed.
It really is the future of farming, and I think it’s going to provide a really strong competitive advantage to Canadian agriculture.
On-screen question: why is Canada a great place to study in the protein industries?
Dr. Ian Stavness, Associate Professor Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan: Coming to Canada allows you to connect with some of the world leaders in kind of core areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence, but then provides, you know, a full range of application areas for taking that technology and applying it. So certainly, agriculture is one really important area for an application of technology.
Masi Aslahi, PhD Student Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan: I think computer science looks a little scary from outside. I would suggest to any student, especially female, don’t get intimidated and just follow your dream. If you have a dream to become a computer scientist, for example, or become a pioneer in one of the big tech companies, just do it.
Dr. Ian Stavness, Associate Professor Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan: Canada is positioned well to lead in this area, specifically because we’re such a large agricultural producer, you know, particularly if you look at the prairie provinces, you know, we have the largest amount of broad acre farming in the world. And so that means that if we can make changes here, it means that we’ll have a big impact on the world stage.
Footage courtesy of: Global Institute For Food Security | University of Saskatchewan
- Smart processing technology
- Smart production of Canadian crops within the supply chain
- Optimizing plant-breeding processes using AI and data trusts
- AI enabled drone technology to reduce pesticide waste in agriculture
More than 4,500 jobs expected to be created in the next 10 years.
On-screen question: how did you land a career in Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Geetika Bhatia, PhD, Algorithm Software Specialist, Deepsense.AI: I came here in Atlantic Canada in 2019 from India, and at that time I was not very much aware of Atlantic Canada opportunities about this. So I started my first job at Dalhousie University as a sessional instructor, and after that I worked with green technology as a data scientist. And at that time I realized there are a lot of opportunities in the AI sector in Atlantic Canada. So during my whole journey working in green technologies, I became proficient in Python (programming language).
I had a chance to explore various algorithms, machine learning, deep learning algorithms, which made me a very fit for this algorithm specialist role at deepsense.ai.
On-screen question: what is an algorithm and software specialist?
Geetika Bhatia: My job is to provide support to the researchers who are working with deepsense.ai. So for that I need to keep myself up to date with the latest tools, with the latest algorithm software, what the companies are doing, what they are building, what kind of models they are working on, what kind of data set. What are the various challenges they are facing? Overall, it is a very exciting role, which is full of new ideas and learning.
On-screen question: what is the mission at deepsense.AI?
Geetika Bhatia: The deepsense.ai mission is to support the ocean sector, basically by doing AI projects in collaboration with academic researchers and their industry partners. And the goal is to generate new-generation data scientists who can understand the value and the potential of the ocean data so that they can provide useful insights and patterns from that data.
On-screen question: what skills can help students excel in the field of AI?
Geetika Bhatia: Artificial or machine learning modeling starts with data cleaning, so if they have some knowledge about data, they have some skills in spreadsheets or Excel. They know how to work in that, how to clean the data. They can easily do that, but it is very important to understand the data first before actually going into machine learning or deep learning or AI problems. These skills of data and analytical skills, visualization, programming skills, if they have them, they can fit in any sector. There are a lot of opportunities there.
On-screen question: what are the AI opportunities in the ocean economy in Canada?
Geetika Bhatia: There are a lot of opportunities in the ocean sector, a lot of scope in research in the ocean sector, so there are various ocean-related industries: transportation, shipping, fishing industry, aquaculture. Now companies are collecting data with sensors. They are using satellite data and with the help of that satellite data, they can track any activity in the ocean. And that data is now helpful in identifying illegal fishing.
It is helpful in predicting extreme weather conditions, so it’s helpful in many areas. Everybody is using AI, so they need people who can find the patterns, who can find the insights from the data and provide better decision making. So if students have these kind of skills, they can fit themselves in anywhere in this competitive market.
Select footage courtesy of: Deepsense.AI | Invest in Canada
- AI enabled technologies for sustainable fishing
- Autonomous robotics that map the seafloors
- Augmented reality to enhance marine navigation in real time Big data and augmented reality to connect the ocean industries through an automated digital ecosystem
More than 3,000 jobs expected to be created in the next 10 years.
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