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Justin Trudeau Pledges $2.4 Billion for AI Initiatives in Canada

Justin Trudeau Pledges $2.4 Billion for AI Initiatives in Canada

Justin Trudeau Pledges $2.4 Billion for AI Initiatives in Canada.

In a recent pre-budget announcement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that the Liberal government is earmarking $2.4 billion for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the forthcoming budget.

A significant portion of this budget, $2 billion, will be directed towards a fund designed to enhance computing capabilities and technical infrastructure. This announcement was made in Montreal as part of Trudeau’s pre-budget tour.

The federal government plans to initiate consultations with the industry on a new AI Compute Access Fund and a strategy to broaden the AI sector in Canada. Justin Trudeau expressed the government’s desire to assist companies in adopting AI in a manner that benefits all. An additional $200 million will be allocated to promote the use of AI in fields such as agriculture, healthcare, and clean technology.

In light of the potential risks posed by ‘superhuman’ AI, the government intends to establish a $50-million AI safety institute to safeguard against advanced or malicious AI systems. Furthermore, $5.1 million will be set aside for an office of the AI and Data Commissioner to enforce the proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.

Bill C-27, the first federal legislation specifically targeting AI, aims to revise privacy laws and introduce new responsibilities for high-impact systems. This proposed law has been under committee review since September 2023.

AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio, concerned about humanity’s future, has been sounding the alarm about potential developments in 2024 and advocating for Canada to construct a $1-billion AI supercomputer. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, affirmed Canada’s position as a global leader in AI.

As the Liberals prepare for their April 16 budget, they have been making a series of announcements across the country. Last week’s focus was on housing, with funds allocated for the construction of apartments and affordable units. Housing Minister Sean Fraser also announced that a comprehensive housing plan will be unveiled before budget day.

Meanwhile, the federal Conservatives have written to Justin Trudeau outlining their demands for the fiscal plan. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre criticized Justin Trudeau’s spending and called for an end to the carbon price, an increase in home building, and a cap on government spending.

In response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended Liberal policies and refuted claims that they contribute to inflation. He also emphasized that the minority government’s agreement with the New Democrats ensures their support on budgets and other fiscal measures, provided the Liberals advance key NDP priorities, including dental care and pharmacare.

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