The godfather of artificial intelligence is a Torontonian
Geoffrey Hinton and the Vector Institute are planning to make Toronto the AI capital of the world
The masterminds in charge of AI research at Apple and Facebook have one thing in common: they studied under U of T professor Geoffrey Hinton, a.k.a. the Godfather of Machine Learning. He’s the guy who developed neural networks that allow computers to mimic a brain and learn like a human. Now, Hinton is helping make sure his future students don’t have to flee to the States to do pioneering work. He’s in charge of the Vector Institute, a U of T–affiliated organization that will apply AI to a range of fields, including finance, construction and health care. Vector has snagged $100 million in government funding, plus another $80 million from companies like Google, Uber and Air Canada. Vector’s existence is the reason Google and Uber have created AI labs in Toronto—the institute only accepted international funding if its investors set up shop north of the border.