April 25th, 2024

Canadian tech community worried country too slow in adopting AI

By The Canadian Press on February 22, 2024.

Members of Canada's tech community say they're worried the country is adopting artificial intelligence too slowly.A man uses a computer keyboard in Toronto in a Sunday, Oct. 9 photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

TORONTO – Members of Canada’s tech community say they’re worried the country is adopting artificial intelligence too slowly.

Speaking at the MaRS Impact AI conference in Toronto, Catherine Fortin Lefaivre said she’s seen too many Canadian companies get “bogged down” in trying to implement AI because they want to develop large-scale AI strategies.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s vice-president of strategic policy and global partnerships says these companies should start with small, manageable uses of AI rather than never implementing the technology because they get so focused on planning and proofs of concept.

Tomi Poutanen, the head of AI health company Signal 1, says adoption can also be hard because of regulatory requirements and funding.

While he’s got his patient insights technology implemented in several health care organizations, he says many hospitals shuffle all their money toward staffing and patient outcomes, leaving little for AI.

Their experiences are bolstered by research KPMG released last year, showing 35 per cent of Canadian companies it surveyed had adopted AI. That lagged the U.S., where 72 per cent of businesses were using the technology.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2024.

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