Last week Microsoft acquire Maluuba, a Montreal-based startup in the artificial intelligence space. It’s no coincidence that Maluuba’s hometown is Montreal; the Canadian city is fast becoming the nation’s leading innovation hub for machine learning.
This week Microsoft President Brad Smith, joined by prominent Quebec politicians, announced plans to expand the company’s presence in Montreal by doubling the size within the next two years of Microsoft’s new AI research and development organization—Maluuba—in Montreal.
In addition, Microsoft will provide gifts for AI research of $6 million to the Université de Montréal and $1 million to McGill University over five years.
“Microsoft is excited to engage with faculties, students and the broader tech community in Montreal, which is becoming a global hub for AI research and innovation,” said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.
“Microsoft’s investment is proof of Canadians’ world-renowned expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
“In a constantly evolving global economic context, artificial intelligence is a sector at the cutting edge of technology that helps propel societies towards the digital economy,” said Quebec Premier Couillard.
Microsoft is hardly the only US tech titan to invest in Montreal. Google is investing $4.5 million in the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms. As part of the deal, Google will open an AI research group in Montreal. Google believes the city has the potential to become a “super-cluster” of machine learning knowledge.
“This emerging field of research has the potential to revolutionize computing by transforming vast amounts of information into useful insights,” says Bains. “The future of every industry, from finance and health to manufacturing and transportation, will be shaped by advances in artificial intelligence.”