Today Scotiabank announced a three-year sponsorship of NextAI to support Canadian youth and entrepreneurship in the growing field of artificial intelligence (AI).
Launched in October 2016 by Next Canada, NextAI brings together Canadian and international talent to develop AI solutions by providing access to capital, mentorship, education and networks.
Scotiabank will provide $1 million in funding to NextAI over the next three years as part of its broader commitment to positioning Canada as a leader in the global race in the commercial application of AI.
“Machine learning and artificial intelligence are defining a new age in customer service and risk management for the financial services industry,” said Michael Zerbs, Executive Vice President and Co-Head Information Technology, Enterprise Technology.
“With a rich and growing academic and research community, Canada is poised to lead the way globally in AI applications. But in order to maintain our stake, it’s critical that we partner with programs like NextAI to foster the development of strong local AI companies that challenge our homegrown talent to stay here in Canada.”
As part of the relationship with NextAI, Scotiabank will participate actively in the program by providing speakers, supporting program participants with industry expertise and hosting events.
The NextAI sponsorship is one of several recent investments that Scotiabank has made in AI and machine learning.
In September 2016, Scotiabank announced the creation of the Scotiabank Disruptive Technologies Venture at the Rotman School of Management, which will support a number of initiatives including the Creative Destructive Lab program focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence ventures.