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Borealis AI Helps Advance Women in AI through Partnership with the AI4Good Lab

Borealis AI has partnered with the diversity and social good focused training program, the AI4Good Lab, to support its 2020 summer program. The CIFAR-OSMO AI4Good Lab is a women-focused AI initiative founded by Canadian non-profit research institute, CIFAR, and Montreal-based startup foundation, OSMO.

The partnership is part of Borealis AI’s ongoing commitment to advancing AI in Canada and fostering diversity and inclusion in the field. Borealis AI will be providing mentorship, career advice and online workshops for the 30 women selected to participate in this year’s program, as well as ongoing support for the AI4Good team.

The AI4Good Lab was founded in 2017 in Montreal by Angelique Mannella, Global Alliance Lead at Amazon Web Services, and Dr. Doina Precup, researcher at Mila, McGill University and Deepmind. It's the first program of its kind to combine rigorous teaching in Artificial Intelligence (AI) with tackling diversity and inclusion in research and development, while promoting AI as a tool for social good.

The 2020 AI4Good Lab cohort marks the 4th year of training the next generation of diverse AI leaders, with 110 participants and alumni from across Canada. This year the lab will be held virtually from June 8th to July 28th due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 7-week program consists of two parts:

- intensive machine learning training through workshops and lectures by AI experts from academia and industry;

- a prototype development phase, during which the participants will work on AI products to tackle a social good problem of their choosing.

Borealis AI will actively be involved in both parts of the program with presentations and mentorship for the students as well as advice on how to navigate the job market in the AI space.

Speaking about the Lab, co-founder Angelique Mannella explained: “Creating more diversity in technical environments is hard. While progress is being made, the only way to make sustainable, lasting change is to take an ecosystem approach, where organizations work together to surface new ways of working, new ways of knowledge sharing, and new ways of nurturing talent.”

Dr. Eirene Seiradaki, Director of Research Partnerships at Borealis AI, said: “Increasing the number of women working in technology and science is a priority for Borealis AI. We are delighted to support the AI4Good Lab program. We hope this program will provide the participants with new skills and tools to help them develop their careers in this exciting and evolving industry.”

Maya Marcus-Sells, Executive Director at the AI4Good Lab, said: “Our partnership with Borealis AI helps bring women across Canada into the fast-moving tech ecosystem. Through mentorship, speaking, and career guidance, Borealis AI will provide the participants of the AI4Good Lab with insights and networks into AI careers that will help them grow into the AI leaders of tomorrow, ultimately leading towards a more diverse and representative AI talent pool. “

“Borealis AI's commitment from day one to foster an environment for gender diverse talent and to work with us to create new opportunities for knowledge sharing and mentorship has been invaluable to our participants and alumni and also to our ability to amplify our collective impact across Canada,” added Mannella.

“There is a lot more to be done in this area” said Seiradaki. “Borealis AI will continue to partner with universities, government, and industry to further narrow the gender gap and improve the talent pool through a larger presentation of women in AI.”

About Borealis AI

Borealis AI is a world-class AI Research center backed by RBC. Recognized for scientific excellence, Borealis AI uses the latest in machine learning capabilities to solve challenging problems in the financial industry. Led by award-winning inventor and entrepreneur, Foteini Agrafioti, and with top North America scientists and engineers, Borealis AI is at the core of the bank’s innovation strategy and benefits from RBC’s scale, data, and trusted brand.

With a focus on responsible AI, natural language processing, and reinforcement learning, Borealis AI is committed to building solutions using machine learning and artificial intelligence that will transform the way individuals manage their finances and their futures. For more information please visit www.borealisai.com


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