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The Ask AI Podcast
The Ask AI podcast is your window into Canada’s fast-moving artificial intelligence sector. Industry insider Jaxson Khan hosts lively interviews with some of the country's leading minds and influencers.
4 Dec 2019
The Importance of a Data Strategy Before an AI Strategy
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the trade and supply of data increase, with more and more of it being generated and leveraged by all industries and organizations. Particularly in this era of innovation, data is essential, and as usage continues to skyrocket, the consideration of how its being collected and how its being used is more important than ever. The importance of good data in AI Everyone is talking about transforming their organization with artificial intelligence. Whether its automating mundane tasks or building predictive analytics, these machines are all fuelled by data. However, while there is great opportunity to make a positive impact with emerging technologies, there is also great risk of getting it wrong. This makes it critical for organizations to understand and have a good data strategy before even considering implementing AI. This is where Carole Piovesan, Co-founder and Partner at INQ Data Law comes in to help. With over a decade of experience in governmental policies and data law, Carole specializes in helping organizations not only on the legal side, but also the privacy and governance of data pertaining to AI. In this podcast episode, Carole dives into how organizations can start mapping their data and building in ethics from the beginning. She emphasizes why it’s so important to take a sustained approach to data-use and how the Canadian government supports it. What You’ll Hear Carole’s journey of starting INQ Data Law that specializes in data policies and AI. How the world of data in business has changed over the years and is driving this new era of innovation. The importance for organizations to have regulations and guardrails in place when it comes to data-use. Exercises and frameworks organizations can apply to start mapping their data strategy.
26 Aug 2019
Designing Trust into AI
One of the simplest, most basic application of artificial intelligence that we see today is for task automation – to remove repetitive and monotonous activity. In the legal world, this comes in the form of document review and analysis, like Kira Systems. Instead of sifting through pages of documents to find potential risk, Kira automatically highlights and extracts the most important sections of a contract. Rather than trying to find a "needle in a haystack", lawyers can more effectively and efficiently review documents. While it seems like a no-brainer to use this tool to improve productivity, there is still the need for lawyers to ultimately understand the context and semantics of the documents being reviewed. Especially when the potential risk associated to the task is high, building trust into a machine to do the work is imperative in the human-AI collaboration. Interpretability vs. explainability When designing for machine learning products and features like this, understanding mental models is crucial. Users need to feel like they understand how the machine came up with the result. For Winter Wei, Design Lead at Kira Systems, this means its her responsibility to help users interpret what they are seeing. In this podcast episode, we speak to Winter about how she designs trust into the machine learning features at Kira Systems. She dives into the importance of designing in a way that users can interpret and explain the results they are seeing. What You’ll Hear How she applied her background in science and statistics to now designing products. The “needle in a haystack” challenge Kira Systems is trying to solve in the legal industry with artificial intelligence. Why trust is so important in machine learning products and how to incorporate it into the user-design process. How designing for interpretability and explainability can solve the back box problem in AI. About Ask AI Ask AI is an educational nonprofit with a mission to increase connections and inclusiveness within Canada’s artificial intelligence sector. Our volunteer-run projects include hosted events, the Ask AI podcast, our chatbot, and the Ask AI newsletter. To learn more, and get information on sponsorships and volunteering just ask our bot!
21 Feb 2019
Making AI You Can Count On
Who Says Accountants Are Boring? Well, basically everyone. But if you live in Canada, you’ve probably seen those TV ads that are trying their very best to convince us all otherwise. To be fair, in an increasingly complex world, having skills with money, data, fraud, and regulation is probably a good way to set yourself up with a job for life, and that in itself probably sounds pretty exciting to a lot of people. And now, thanks to applied AI technology, there’s some more good news on the horizon. Surely, one of the most tedious aspects of accountancy has always been the much maligned audit. Trolling though mountains of ledgers and books to spot mistakes, both deliberate and accidental, while business folks look on in dread is a tough sell for anyone. So it was inevitable that someone would come along an apply machine learning to this repetitive, data-heavy process, and in Canada, that person is Eli Fahti, the CEO of Ottawa’s MindBridge AI. A lifelong serial entrepreneur with an admirable track record of innovation, exits, and mentoring, Eli is a true gem of Canada’s tech sector. Tune in to this episode to learn how Eli and this Ottawa company is leading Canada's charge into the multi-billion dollar Global accountancy and auditing tech sector. What You’ll Hear Eli's startup journey which includes starting MindBridge with just a single employee and a good hunch. Why the accountancy industry has become a diamond, but needs to return to being a triangle. The numbers behind the incredible opportunity that Canadian women represent for out tech industry. The forces that make growing a startup in Canada so challenging. The Montreal Declaration and what it means to build an ethical AI company in Canada. About Ask AI Ask AI is an educational nonprofit with a mission to increase connections and inclusiveness within Canada’s artificial intelligence sector. Our volunteer-run projects include hosted events, the Ask AI podcast, our chatbot, and the Ask AI newsletter. To learn more, and get information on sponsorships and volunteering just ask our bot!
13 Jan 2019
On A Mission To Modernize
Canada’s Chief Information Officer is probably not what you expect. For starters, speaking with Alex Benay feels more like talking with a tech startup founder than a senior government official. It’s is not just in the passion for what he does, which is obvious, but the disarmingly direct way that he handles the tough questions associated with the development of Canada’s AI sector. In short, it’s refreshing to hear plain talk from one of our country’s top AI influencers when it comes to issues like gender balance in the workforce, bias in training data, and the use of citizen data. This distinctly un-bureaucratic approach may have something to do with a non-traditional career path. Leaving an early fast-track position in the public service for major role in the tech sector, he then returned to the Feds to take on the challenge of updating our national museums. Tune in to this episode to learn about innovation inside Canada’s Federal Government and to get a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of the key leaders of its mission to modernize. Our listeners can get a full view on Canada’s approach to AI by checking out our recent episode featuring Michael Karlin, the Treasury advisor working under Alex Benay who made international waves last year when drafting Canada’s AI policy as a Google Doc. Also be sure to catch our conversation with Dr. Elissa Strome, the head of the Pan-Canadian AI strategy at CIFAR and learn how one of our top scientific bodies is fighting the threat of AI brain drain.
1 Dec 2018
Ozge's Amazing AI Journey
An Amazing AI Journey Our conversation with Ozge Yeloglu, Lead Data Scientist at Microsoft Canada Ozge Yeloglu has had to work hard to get to where she is today. From a young age in Turkey, she had a keen interest in computers, despite not having access to one at home. But that didn’t stop her from following her passion. In 1999, when she began her computer science degree, she still didn’t own a computer (or even know what a floppy disk was), but she persevered. As an undergraduate, she struggled to find an outlet for her love of programming and computing technology, but a pivotal moment came in 2004 when a professor handed her a book on neural networks. That single gesture started Ozge on a journey that would eventually see her leading the data and AI teams for one of biggest players in Canadian technology. In 2016, Ozge was hired as the first data scientist at Microsoft Canada with a focus on building analytics solutions for some of the biggest financial services companies in the country. In just over two years, she has expanded the team to 11 members and continues to work on changing the technology landscape for enterprise customers, while being the voice of AI at Microsoft Canada. Tune in to this episode as host Jaxson Khan (Nudge AI) learns more about Ozge's fascinating journey and her unique perspectives on artificial intelligence.
26 Sep 2018
AI & The Future of Work In Canada
AI & The Future of Work In Canada Our chat with Dr. Wendy Cukier (Ryerson Diversity Institute) and Mark Patterson (Magnet) There’s no question that as artificial intelligence, robotics, and digitization expand into the workplace, it will have a major impact on the way Canadians work. Recent data from the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs Report” estimates that machines and automated software will handle 50% of all workplace functions within seven years and could displace 75 million jobs. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as the same study also estimates that AI will add 133 million jobs globally. Along similar lines, a 2018 research paper by RBC entitled “Humans Wanted – How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption” estimates that automation will impact 50% of Canadian jobs in the next 10 years. So that’s two major studies pointing to a massive increase in Canadian workplace automation in the next 10 years and this comes despite the breaking news that Canadian businesses are apparently laggards when it comes to AI adoption. How Will This Affect Skills? In a recent podcast episode, we spoke with Dr. Elissa Strome about how the $125M Pan-Canadian AI Strategy (and the $1B commitment to develop five “supercluster” regions of excellence) that will help Canada retain key talent at the top levels of AI research. Given we're not all machine learning PhDs, how is the typical Canadian student or worker meant to prepare for automation? How will they be supported in navigating the rapid changes that increased workplace automation will bring? In this first episode of our second series of the Ask AI podcast, we feature an in-depth discussion with Dr. Wendy Cukier, Director of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University, and Mark Patterson, Executive Director of Magnet, the employment marketplace. Both Magnet and the Diversity Institute are part of the Canadian "work-integrated learning" ecosystem and have partnered with industry and government to deliver programs such as ASPIRE, which is powered by Magnet’s platform, and ADaPT, developed and analysed by the Diversity Institute. Tune in to this episode as host Jaxson Khan (Nudge AI) dives into some of the most pressing issues surrounding diversity, artificial intelligence, and workplace automation in Canada. What You'll Learn * What steps can be taken to help Canadians transition their career paths in order to adapt to AI * How AI will affect Canadian workers and our economic growth * The types of jobs the AI industry creates, the type of skill sets they require * What AI and increased automation means for Canadians who have yet to enter the labour market Episode Links Diversity Institute: https://www.ryerson.ca/diversity Diversity Institute on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RyersonDI Magnet: https://magnet.today Magnet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MagnetToday Episode Credits Host: Jaxson Khan Senior Producer: Mike Letourneau Executive Producer: Chris McLellan About Ask AI Ask AI is an educational nonprofit with a mission to increase learning, participation, and inclusiveness within Canada’s artificial intelligence and future skills initiatives. Our volunteer-run projects include events in Toronto and Ottawa, the Ask AI podcast, and a helpful chatbot. Visit http://askai.org Podcast Player Links iTunes: https://apple.co/2JfGlXE YouTube: http://bit.ly/2JdexmE Google Play: http://bit.ly/2mcfsux Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/2vbRLrb Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2m9nGU7 Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/2ueyFQx
31 Aug 2018
Microsoft and Canada's Artificial Intelligence
With a career at Microsoft Canada spanning more than 20 years, Gladstone Grant is far from standing still. This veteran of the Canadian tech sector is a lively and thoughtful advocate of artificial intelligence in Canada and doing a great deal of work to build bridges between researchers, the business community, and entrepreneurs. Global Tech Giants With platforms such as Cortana / Windows 10 in the market and the expansion of their AI research facilities in Montreal earlier this year there’s no question that Microsoft is very much in the thick of the AI scene in Canada. But exactly what does the involvement of the tech giants represent to the development of AI in Canada? Are they potential roadblocks to innovation? Will they bring an unwelcome bias to their projects? Or are they essential supporters to research labs and startups? Tune in as Gladstone makes an passionate case for companies like Microsoft to play a positive and productive role in Canadian artificial intelligence. Episode Highlights Startups versus corporate expertise in AI: 9 mins 31 secs Three things that brought AI to the tipping point: 11 mins 16 secs Open Source as a “first class citizen”: 15 mins 39 sec Microsoft’s invitation to Canadian startups: 27 mins 12 sec Episode Links Gladstone on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GladstoneGrant Microsoft Technology Centres: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mtc Gartner CIO Summit: https://www.gartner.com/en/conferences/na/symposium-canada Ask AI Chatbot Get all the details of this episode and connect with hundreds of people, companies, and free resources in the Ask AI Chatbot: http://askai.org/chatbot Episode Credits Host: Jaxson Khan Senior Producer: Mike Letourneau Recording: Robyn Edgar Executive Producer: Chris McLellan Podcast Players iTunes: https://apple.co/2JfGlXE YouTube: http://bit.ly/2JdexmE Google Play: http://bit.ly/2mcfsux Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/2vbRLrb Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2m9nGU7 Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/2ueyFQx About Ask AI Ask AI has a mission to increase learning, participation, and inclusiveness within Canada’s artificial intelligence and future skills initiatives. Our volunteer-run projects include events in Toronto and Ottawa, the Ask AI podcast, and a helpful chatbot. Visit http://askai.org
25 Aug 2018
Google Docs and Ramen Bars: Inside Canada’s Unique Approach AI Policy Development
While still in the early stages, there’s a national conversation starting to take place about the best way, both strategically and ethically, to apply artificial intelligence within Canadian society. This is evident not only in the sheer volume of media stories about AI (with varying degrees of accuracy, as we explored in our Skynet Today episode) but also in the quality of the discourse within our public institutions. As you might expect, officials from research organizations such as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research have lead the way, but we’re starting to hear voices emerge from a much wider set of public institutions. Take for example Michael Karlin of Canada’s Office of the CIO (part of Treasury). His community approach to AI policy development has done a great deal to widen the public debate on how AI can (and should) be used. Tune in to this episode and hear the fascinating story of how Michael started with a simple Google Doc in order to tackle one the biggest policy and ethical issues of our time! “There’s an incredible amount of opportunity to offer citizens profound service improvements using AI technology, and there are also concerns that we could over step, so in order to keep ourselves honest, it’s important that the public keep engaged and keep asking us the hard questions.” Episode Highlights: * Michael’s famous Google Doc approach to policy: 3 min 35 secs * Prospects for a community approach to policy: 9 mins 26 secs * How other countries are developing AI: 11 mins 08 secs * Michael’s perspective on ethics in AI: 13 mins 31 secs * How Michael stays up-to-date in AI: 15 mins 37 secs Episode Links: * Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/supergovernance * Michael on Medium: https://medium.com/@supergovernance * Michael’s Famous Google Doc: http://bit.ly/2o7ZNgE * CIO of Canada website: http://bit.ly/2wjfntq * CIO of Canada on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexBenay * Treasury Board on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TBS_Canada Get all the details of this episode and connect with hundreds of people, companies, and free resources in the Ask AI Chatbot: http://askai.org/chatbot Episode Credits * Hosts: Jaxson Khan and Heather Evans * Senior Producer: Mike Letourneau * Recording: Robyn Edgar * Executive Producer: Chris McLellan Podcast Players: * iTunes: https://apple.co/2JfGlXE * YouTube: http://bit.ly/2JdexmE * Google Play: http://bit.ly/2mcfsux * Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/2vbRLrb * Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2m9nGU7 * Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/2ueyFQx About Ask AI Ask AI has a mission to increase learning, participation, and inclusiveness within Canada’s artificial intelligence and future skills initiatives. Our volunteer-run projects include events in Toronto and Ottawa, the Ask AI podcast, and a helpful chatbot. Visit http://askai.org
20 Aug 2018
Learning About Canada's Artificial Intelligence Strategy
What would you do with $125 million dollars and a mandate to advance artificial intelligence research and policy in Canada? If you’re Dr.Elissa Strome, the answer is A LOT. This episode of the Ask AI podcast features an interview with Dr. Elissa Strome, the head of CIFAR's Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Listen how CIFAR is helping to attract nurture research talent and discover the aspects of AI most personally exciting to this Canadian AI thought leader. Stream, download, and subscribe to the Ask AI Podcast here: http://askai.org/podcast This interview and a galaxy of resources are also available in the Ask AI Chabot (just type “podcast”): http://askai.org/askai-chatbot This episode was sponsored by Electric Brain https://www.electricbrain.io EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: Learn how CIFAR is helping to reverse brain drain in Canada’s artificial intelligence research: 2 mins 37 sec Learn about the new “AI in Society Program” which looks at the policy, social, legal, and ethical implications of AI: 4 min 18 sec Get the history of CIFAR which has been supporting AI research since 1983 (and supported Geoffrey Hinton’s early research): 6 mins 15 sec Discover what excites Dr.Strome most about artificial intelligence in Canada: 11 mins 42 sec How CIFAR is cooperating with the Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence: 19 mins 25 sec EPISODE LINKS: Dr.Elissa Strome LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elissa-strome-21996134/ CIFAR website: https://www.cifar.ca/ CIFAR Twitter: https://twitter.com/CIFAR_News CIFAR LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/canadian-institute-for-advanced-research SPONSORS: This episode was sponsored by Electric Brain https://www.electricbrain.io For sponsorship, content, and volunteering opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org EPISODE CREDITS: Senior Producer: Mike Letourneau Associate Producer: Francesca Awotundun Interview recorded by: Robyn Edgar Executive Producer: Chris McLellan
7 Aug 2018
Interview with Andrey Kurnekov, founder of Skynet Today blog
Interview with Andrey Kurnekov, founder of Skynet Today blog. The media is having a field day with stories, both good and bad, about artificial intelligence and its potential impact on humanity. But who is covering that coverage? This episode of the Ask AI podcast features an interview with Andrey Kurenkov, a founder of the Skynet Today blog. Tune in and hear about Andrey’s work to dispel and correct the misunderstandings and myths within AI, get his views on today’s so-called “AI services”, and how we can prevent the next AI Winter. Enjoy! Stream, download, and subscribe to the Ask AI Podcast here: http://askai.org/podcast This interview and a wealth of content and resources are available in the Ask AI Chabot (type “podcast”): http://askai.org/askai-chatbot This episode was sponsored by Electric Brain: https://www.electricbrain.io For sponsorship, content, and volunteering opportunities, please email: email@example.com EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: What exactly is Skynet and what is its role in reviewing media coverage of artificial intelligence? 3 mins 25 secs The one thing that Andey feels is THE most understood fact about artificial intelligence: 5 min 37 secs Why you should be wary of the AI tools and products being released by companies like Facebook and Google 7 min 32 secs What Andrey feels needs to happen in order to avoid another “AI Winter”: 13 mins 15 secs The relationship between AI and robotics: 16 mins 20 secs Andrey’s views on those omnipresent Boston Robotics robo-dogs: EPISODE LINKS: Andrey Kurnekov website: http://www.andreykurenkov.com/ Andrey Kurnekov Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrey_kurenkov Andrey Kurnekov LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreykurenkov Skynet Today blog: https://www.skynettoday.com Skynet Today on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skynet_today Stanford University AI Lab: http://ai.stanford.edu/ EPISODE CREDITS: Senior Producer: Mike Letourneau Interview recorded by: Robyn Edgar Executive Producer: Chris McLellan
20 Jul 2018
Interview with Veronica Malinski Co-founder of Aerialytic
Interview with Veronica Malinski, Co-founder of Aerialytic This episode features an interview with Veronica Malinski, co-founder of Aerialytic, a nonprofit startup and graduate of the Next Canada program on a mission to increase residential solar adoption. To do this, Aerialytic is using artificial intelligence to instantly provide homeowners with a custom solar design and show them their financial and environmental returns of going solar. Aerialytic also addresses the aesthetic barrier that homeowners face by providing a visual representation of their home with solar panels using augmented reality technology. Stream, download, and subscribe to the Ask AI Podcast here: http://askai.org/podcast This content and a galaxy of resources is just a chat away in the Ask AI Chabot: http://askai.org/askai-chatbot This episode was sponsored by Electric Brain. EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: “My experience with Next Canada has been nothing short of incredible”: 0 min 49 sec Rising to the challeng…
13 Jul 2018
Interview with Benjamin Alarie of Blue J Legal
This episode of the Ask AI podcast features an fascinating look at how AI technologies are impacting the legal profession, societal governance, and the delivery justice with Ben Alarie, CEO and co-founder of Blue J Legal, the Toronto-based machine learning company focused on legal research. Co-hosts Jaxson Khan and Heather Evans lead this lively discussion with one of Canada’s leading legal minds and a true pioneer in applied artificial intelligence. Stream the full episode here: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/askai/id/6806059 or download from your podcast service by searching “Ask AI Podcast”. EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: A major inflexion point in civilisation: 2 min 11 sec How AI is changing the legal system and profession: 5 min 21 sec 90% accuracy in predicting the outcome of cases: 7 min 35 sec The concept of the “Legal Singularity”: 10 min 35 sec EPISODE LINKS: Stream Link: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/askai/id/6806059 Blue J Legal we…
6 Jul 2018
Interview with Roy Pereira of Zoom.ai
The second episode of the Ask AI Podcast features an in-depth interview with Roy Pereira, CEO and founder of Zoom.Ai, the Toronto-based “chat first” virtual assistant for enterprise. Co-hosts Jaxson Khan (Nudge.ai) and Heather Evans (Government of Ontario) dig into the issues with serial entrepreneur Roy, including how to compete in enterprise software, what it really means to be “conversational”, and the ethical choices his AI-based company has faced. EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: The evolution of office productivity: 4 min 30 sec Catch Roy’s “Tinder dating” zinger: 18 min 35 sec Learn about “fake AI”: 16 min 35 sec How to stay young forever: 22 min 50 sec Why Roy dances in the office: 28 min 38 sec EPISODE LINKS: Zoom AI website: https://zoom.ai/ Zoom AI Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zoomdotai Zoom AI LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/zoom.ai/ SEND YOUR QUESTIONS: Listeners are invited to email questions about artificial intelligence and workplace automati…
27 Jun 2018
Interview with Kathryn Hume, VP Product & Strategy at Integrate.AI
The first episode of the Ask AI Podcast kicks off in an exclusive interview with Kathryn Hume, VP of Product and Strategy at Integrate.ai and Venture Partner at ffVC. A leading voice on AI in North America, Kathryn is incredibly adept at explaining techniques and concepts within artificial intelligence (including "explainability" itself). Co-hosts Jaxson Khan (Nudge.ai) and Heather Evans (Government of Ontario) lead this overview of the technologies, challenges, and myths in AI. Full of practical real-world insights, this episode is the perfect introduction to the Canadian AI sector for students, professionals, and Canadians from all walks of life. Our listeners are always invited to get engaged with the Ask AI podcast. Please email your questions on artificial intelligence and workplace automation to firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship, content, and volunteering opportunities, please email email@example.com.
27 Jun 2018
AskAI Podcast Trailer
Coming Soon! The Ask AI podcast is your window into Canada’s fast-moving artificial intelligence sector. Co-hosts and industry insiders Heather Evans (Ontario Ministry of Economic Development) and Jaxson Khan (Nudge AI) provide a lively and thoughtful review of this generational technology with news, interviews, field reports, and listener questions. Get a sense of what's coming with this teaser episode! The lines are now open and you're invited to email your questions about artificial intelligence and workplace automation to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to us at https://twitter.com/askaiorg