Experts and entrepreneurs from the University of Toronto will have a heavy presence at this week’s Elevate Toronto technology “festival” – a new three-day event that showcases Toronto’s emerging status as a leading innovation hub.
The festival, which kicks off Tuesday, features a series of conferences and social events at venues across the city on topics that range from health-care innovation to financial technology and virtual reality.
One of the biggest draws is shaping up to be Wednesday’s MaRS Discovery District conference on artificial intelligence, or AI, a fast-growing field where U of T has emerged as a global research leader.
The AI event’s keynote address will be delivered by U of T University Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Hinton, a senior engineering fellow at Google who is known as the “godfather” of deep learning, a branch of AI that uses layers of algorithms to mimic the human brain. Hinton’s research helped spark an AI revolution in recent years as companies race to incorporate the technology into everything from new drug discovery tools to self-driving cars.
One of those companies is ride-sharing giant Uber. Earlier this year, the Silicon Valley firm tapped U of T Associate Professor Raquel Urtasun, a star in the AI field of computer vision and machine perception, to head its new driverless car research lab in Toronto.
Urtasun is scheduled to deliver a talk September 12 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.
Other prominent Department speakers at Elevate Toronto’s AI conference this week include:
• Sanja Fidler,an assistant professor in the department of mathematical and computational sciences at U of T Mississauga who is an expert in computer vision
• Inmar Givoni, a U of T alum who is the director of machine learning at Kindred.ai, which seeks to develop human-like intelligence in machines
The university will also be represented at an Elevate health conference held at the Toronto Reference Library on Tuesday. Speakers with U of T connections include:
• Anna Goldenberg, a scientist in the genetics and genome biology program at SickKids Research Institute and an assistant professor at U of T’s computer science department
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