Government of Canada Allocates $2.4 Billion for Artificial Intelligence in Budget 2024

Credit: SpaceQ.

With the federal budget being released on April 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Cabinet are unveiling a series of initiatives including on Sunday when he announced the Securing Canada’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) advantage initiative.

The $2.4 billion package includes the following initiatives.

  • Investing $2 billion to build and provide access to computing capabilities and technological infrastructure for Canada’s world-leading AI researchers, start-ups, and scale-ups. As part of this investment, we will soon be consulting with AI stakeholders to inform the launch of a new AI Compute Access Fund to provide near-term support to researchers and industry. We will also develop a new Canadian AI Sovereign Compute Strategy to catalyze the development of Canadian-owned and located AI infrastructure. Ensuring access to cutting-edge computing infrastructure will attract more global AI investment to Canada, develop and recruit the best talent, and help Canadian businesses compete and succeed on the world stage.
  • Boosting AI start-ups to bring new technologies to market, and accelerating AI adoption in critical sectors, such as agriculture, clean technology, health care, and manufacturing, with $200 million in support through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.
  • Investing $100 million in the NRC IRAP AI Assist Program to help small and medium-sized businesses scale up and increase productivity by building and deploying new AI solutions. This will help companies incorporate AI into their businesses and take on research, product development, testing, and validation work for new AI-based solutions.
  • Supporting workers who may be impacted by AI, such as creative industries, with $50 million for the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, which will provide new skills training for workers in potentially disrupted sectors and communities.
  • Creating a new Canadian AI Safety Institute, with $50 million to further the safe development and deployment of AI. The Institute, which will leverage input from stakeholders and work in coordination with international partners, will help Canada better understand and protect against the risks of advanced or nefarious AI systems, including to specific communities.
  • Strengthening enforcement of the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act, with $5.1 million for the Office of the AI and Data Commissioner. The proposed Act aims to guide AI innovation in a positive direction to help ensure Canadians are protected from potential risks by ensuring the responsible adoption of AI by Canadian businesses.

There’s already been some investment in AI technologies for space including the recent announcement of AI powered EZResus winning the Deep Space Healthcare Challenge. Another challenge, the AI for Space Robotics Auto-diagnostics and Early Failure Prediction is currently underway.

The only details we have at the moment are what the government released today. At first glance academics and companies looking at AI for space should be able to advantage of this new initiative as details emerge.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and Executive Vice President, Content of SpaceNews. Boucher has 25+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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