Artificial intelligence is a broad branch of computer science whose task is to create intelligent machines capable of performing tasks related to human intelligence. The goal of developing this intelligence is to simplify people’s lives and free them from mundane tasks. Artificial intelligence is extensively used in research across various fields, particularly in healthcare and drug development.
Special laboratories play a crucial role in the advancement of artificial intelligence, aiming to develop, test and implement innovative solutions and projects. Until 2022, Alberta did not have an artificial intelligence laboratory. However, it has now emerged, and you can read more about its establishment and reasons for opening it in the article on edmonton-future.
The History of the Lab and Its First Project
In the spring of 2022, the Government of Alberta launched the first publicly accessible GovLab. It is considered an innovative approach to developing data-driven solutions for governmental issues. The lab accommodates the best university students, machine learning experts and civil servants.
The lab is currently focused on developing pilot projects that aid the government and its people. One such project utilizes data to understand and predict wildfires in the province. Nicole Janssen, the founder of this lab, mentioned that she had the intention to open the lab long ago but lacked the necessary funds. Consequently, she and her partners involved the state in financing and contributing to the lab’s development.
After some time, with the collaboration of several partners, everything fell into place. Officially, the new laboratory commenced its operations in the summer of 2022. The founder believes that the solutions developed in the lab will help the government save millions of dollars during particularly hazardous seasons. The lab’s first project aims to protect the people of Alberta from wildfires.
Moreover, the lab will be able to predict the areas where forest fires are most likely to occur daily, enabling local authorities to be prepared and take preventative measures.
The lab employs interns, artificial intelligence experts and government officials. Janssen states that this approach provides students from Alberta’s IT institutes with practical experience and potential job opportunities. The province plans to invest $3.4 million annually in the development of the first GovLab.
Economic Opportunities of the Lab
The GovLab will enhance Alberta’s position as a leading player and innovation center, attracting talent, businesses and investments. The lab is also expected to create numerous job opportunities for skilled professionals. Janssen explains that they intend to foster economic growth by developing intellectual property supported by the provincial government, subsequently exporting it globally to generate revenue for the country.
Concepts and Ideas
The new GovLab will explore potential developments by professionals and create new projects that are beneficial to both individuals and the state as a whole. Additionally, various models will be created and tested to provide proof of concepts. Any successful models will be promptly implemented.
Janssen stated that GovLab will test pre-existing programs every 4 months. Viable solutions will be implemented, leading to positive indicators of IT development.
Projects suitable for commercialization will require further work and experimentation, opening up new opportunities within the technology sector.