‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugs

Alberta-based 48Hour Discovery works with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to streamline the process

‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugsWith the cost of drug development beginning to skyrocket in the 1990s, pharmaceutical giants thought the path to better economics lay in high-throughput screening facilities that would test libraries that ranged in size from a few thousand up to million compounds at a time. “Separate shelves, many rooms, with the emphasis on robotics and automation…

AI innovation will make thyroid ultrasounds faster and easier

FDA approves MEDO’s tool offering simpler, more reliable diagnostic scans for thousands of patients

AI innovation will make thyroid ultrasounds faster and easierA University of Alberta spinoff company has received FDA approval for an artificial intelligence tool that could revolutionize thyroid ultrasounds, making the procedure faster and easier for thousands of Canadians who undergo it each year. MEDO.ai, with offices in Edmonton and Singapore, received approval last month from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its…

New AI-powered deep learning model supports medical diagnostics

Computing scientist lost in Flight PS752 contributed to the study

New AI-powered deep learning model supports medical diagnosticsA new deep learning model can learn to identify diseases from medical scans faster and more accurately, according to new research by a team of University of Alberta computing scientists and the U of A spinoff company MEDO. The breakthrough model is the work of a team of researchers in the Faculty of Science – including Pouneh…

Artificial intelligence innovator named to Royal Society

U of A computing scientist Rich Sutton honoured by world’s oldest national scientific institution

Artificial intelligence innovator named to Royal SocietyRich Sutton, a University of Alberta computing science professor, a fellow and Canada CIFAR AI Chair at the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), and one of the founders of modern computational reinforcement learning, has been elected as a fellow of the venerable Royal Society, the world’s oldest national scientific institution. Sutton, who joined the U of A’s Faculty…

Artificial intelligence may help diagnose depression more accurately

Artificial intelligence may help diagnose depression more accuratelyA new University of Alberta project aims to develop an artificial intelligence-based screening tool to help doctors diagnose depression more precisely. Depression affects millions of Canadians. It can affect quality of life, damage relationships, lower productivity and lead to suicide. A proper diagnosis is key to effective treatment, but making a precise diagnosis can be…

Safer source of islet cells targeted for people with Type 1 diabetes

U of A researchers are harnessing AI to analyze patients’ own cells to create islet cells for transplant

Safer source of islet cells targeted for people with Type 1 diabetesUniversity of Alberta researchers are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to find a safer, more personalized source of islet cells to treat Type 1 diabetes. The research project, a collaboration between the departments of surgery and computing science, aims to use AI to analyze images to speed up the process and reduce the need for human decision-making…

DeepMind funding diversity in AI with new scholarship program

Scholarships will support computing science students from under-represented groups

DeepMind funding diversity in AI with new scholarship programA new scholarship program funded by DeepMind is helping to foster diversity in artificial intelligence research at the University of Alberta. The program, which will support two master’s students in the U of A’s Department of Computing Science, is targeted toward graduate students including women, Indigenous people and other groups that are under-represented in the field of AI.…

Virtual clinic pilot sees success in rural Alberta community

U of A spinoff company launches MedROAD virtual clinic in Alberta, making long-distance health care a reality during COVID-19

Virtual clinic pilot sees success in rural Alberta communityA new pilot project called MedROAD is bringing the power of precision health to Pincher Creek, Alta. – and seeing promising results. MedROAD promises to be the future of telehealth, leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and cloud-based computing to remotely connect patients with health-care professionals, no matter where they are. Developed at the University of Alberta by computing scientist Pierre…

Machine learning used to predict early symptoms of schizophrenia

Researchers develop AI tool to analyze brain scans, identify risk for earlier diagnosis and treatment

Machine learning used to predict early symptoms of schizophreniaUniversity of Alberta researchers have taken another step forward in developing an artificial intelligence tool to predict schizophrenia by analyzing brain scans. In recently published research, the tool was used to analyze functional magnetic resonance images of 57 healthy first-degree relatives (siblings or children) of schizophrenia patients. It accurately identified the 14 individuals who scored highest…

AI could lead to faster, better analysis of donated blood

Researchers develop new tool capable of precision diagnosis and better classification of blood products

AI could lead to faster, better analysis of donated bloodMachine learning could change the way donated blood is evaluated for quality and selected for transfusion to patients, thanks to an international study that analyzed changes in the shape of red blood cells from stored samples. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was a collaboration of experts in…

AI could offer big energy savings for office towers

U of A computing scientist Omid Ardakanian is working on software to make buildings more comfortable while cutting emissions, lowering costs

AI could offer big energy savings for office towersFor most of us, office cooling and heating systems are like wallpaper: you only really notice them if they catch fire. For Omid Ardakanian, office buildings offer potential energy savings on a skyscraper scale. “My obsession, if you want to call it that, comes from the sensors in these buildings,” said Ardakanian, a computing science professor…

Helping businesses harness the power of AI

Helping businesses harness the power of AIArtificial intelligence can do a lot to help businesses, but its dynamic, complex nature can also make it challenging to learn – which is where Stephanie Husby loves to step in. As a machine learning educator for the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), the University of Alberta graduate teaches the AI for Strategy and Management course, helping non-technical managers…

Project aims to make water treatment greener, more efficient

U of A computing scientists working with Edmonton company to find out if applying AI to water treatment is a financial, environmental win-win

Project aims to make water treatment greener, more efficientA pilot project leveraging the University of Alberta’s artificial intelligence expertise to improve the process of making drinking water safe is up and running in Drayton Valley, Alta. The U of A’s Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence Lab, along with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, an Alberta not-for-profit institute with U of A affiliations, Edmonton infrastructure technology…

We need closer oversight on high-tech police practices

Understanding and safeguarding personal freedom and civil rights is more critical than ever. So who is policing the police?

We need closer oversight on high-tech police practicesPolicing is the only authority sanctioned to use force against its citizens. So democratic systems institute safeguards to ensure police impartiality and accountability, often with multiple and overlapping oversight. But who’s keeping an eye on the growing use of technology in policing? The police services board is one prevalent form of oversight responsible for ensuring…

The ecological upside to job automation

How future changes in the structure of business and the nature of work could impact the environment

The ecological upside to job automationReplacing humans with robots clearly has a dystopian flavour. But could the successive waves of artificial intelligence (AI) and other exponentially developing technologies displacing jobs, ranging from banker to construction worker, have potential positives for the environment? According to a 2016 McKinsey automation study, about a third of most job activities, affecting 49 per cent…

iRobot dynamic duo vacuums and jet mops work in tandem

Review: The iRobot Roomba s9+ vacuum and the Braava jet m6 mop work in tandem so you can relax

iRobot dynamic duo vacuums and jet mops work in tandemLike most people, we're not crazy about household chores. So last year around this time we were ecstatic to discover the robot vacuum we were looking for. And now iRobot has stepped up two notches by delivering a more powerful and smarter dynamic duo: the iRobot Roomba s9+ vacuum and the Braava jet m6 mop.…

Artificial intelligence is reshaping food retailing

A Sobeys pilot project shows that we’ll soon enough be able to shop without talking to anyone and completely bypass lineups and cashiers

Artificial intelligence is reshaping food retailingGrocery giant Sobeys has unveiled what it calls Canada's first smart shopping cart at a store in Ontario. It’s a great idea for people looking for assistance in shopping and to be on their way as soon as possible. The project is a partnership with New York-based retail technology company Capers. Essentially, the cart you…

Put robots to work so humans can be more productive

While robots replace human workers on the factory floor, better-paid jobs are created to design, build and maintain the robots

Put robots to work so humans can be more productiveThe robots are coming, the robots are coming! They may not be an unstoppable evil army ready to take over the world as in a bad sci-fi movie, but they’re definitely making headway on factory assembly lines and increasingly in other industries. A United Kingdom research firm, Oxford Economics, did a study that covered seven…

Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolved

The end of carding won’t cease the gathering of information. Instead, it will be entered into police data bases without the public’s knowledge

Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolvedWe’re in the era of predictive policing, geo-profiling and crime prevention – carding 2.0 – and need to ask the tough questions about what that means. Understanding and safeguarding personal freedom and civil rights is more critical than ever. The pace at which artificial intelligence is being developed and incorporated is far outpacing the regulatory…

The future is not a straight line from the past

The march of technology is inevitable, but the way its proceeds are distributed is a matter of choice. Here are some options

The future is not a straight line from the pastThe RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has been exploring the future of work. Like many organizations, it begins with the assumption that some 35 to 40 per cent of jobs will be directly impacted by artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, blockchain, stem cells and other technologies.…

Visual intelligence is the next wave of digital security

Visual intelligence allows for face identification, incident recognition, behaviour monitoring, object identification and even face or activity prediction

Visual intelligence is the next wave of digital securityBusiness owners and managers increasingly deal with information overload, including from camera feeds. The cost outlay for a good camera system with extensive storage is dropping daily and new technologies that promise to process all this information continue to emerge. But although it’s valuable information, it’s also exceedingly time consuming to sift through all the…

Artificial intelligence will kill jobs – and create them

Automation increases labour productivity and so raises the income levels of workers, who in turn acquire new skills to use and advance automation

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the automation of tasks once done by humans has raised fears about machines putting humans out of work and creating mass poverty. Happily, history has repeatedly proven the doomsayers wrong. While automation has certainly led to declines in entire industries (and employment in those industries), the relationship between automation and…

Breaking the tech glass ceiling in the workplace

Massimo Canonico talks about the findings of a Docebo report that shows key disparities in skills training

Breaking the tech glass ceiling in the workplaceMassimo Canonico is director of solutions engineering at Docebo. He spoke about a poll commissioned by Docebo, a provider of AI-based learning platforms, titled 2019 Tech Skills Report. What are the key findings from the poll? Canonico: The first thing we noticed when we reviewed the data from our survey was that the approach to…

Insurance customers demand real-time services, customization

Susan Johnston of Accenture Canada talks about delivering hyper-personalized, on-demand services

Insurance customers demand real-time services, customizationSusan Johnston is managing director of financial services at Accenture Canada. What were the key findings of the recent report Technology Vision for Insurance 2019? Johnston: Our latest Technology Vision for Insurance 2019 report found that insurance companies are now focused on how they can shape the world around people and select the right moments…

Job losses due to technological change overblown: report

‘The growth of technology combined with a shrinking labour force may actually produce a shortage of qualified workers in Canada’

Job losses due to technological change overblown: reportFears of substantial job losses in the future due to technology may be greatly exaggerated. A series of essays released on Tuesday by the think-tank the Fraser Institute say burgeoning technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence and robotization won’t lead to huge jobs losses. “While some believe the rise of artificial intelligence and other technologies…

China is driving the rise of omniscient machines

Are we prepared for a world full of machines, governing everything in steely alignment with the technocrats’ goals?

China is driving the rise of omniscient machinesThe Terminator movies were prediction, not fiction. The proof abounds in China, recently dubbed by CBC as the world’s first digital dictatorship. China has interfaced wireless technology with surveillance cameras and facial recognition software to form Sky Net. And fifth-generation mobile phones, or 5G, are coming to Canada. That means Chinese technology and its usage…

Could guaranteed income help to cope with automation?

The disappearance of many jobs over a short period could severely strain our social welfare models

Could guaranteed income help to cope with automation?The revolution of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will be one of the most profound economic shifts of this century. It’s already well underway and public policy must meet the challenge. Populists on the left and right often blame free trade for North American job losses in manufacturing, though automation is actually the main culprit.…

A robotic vacuum can put your goals for the new year in perspective

Although he’s incredibly bright, he can require a bit of retraining daily and some consistent preparation before he goes to work

A robotic vacuum can put your goals for the new year in perspectiveIt’s January and a lot of us are talking about goal setting and getting healthy. But for many of us, stuff gets in the way of our priorities. Some of us want to avoid alcohol for a month as we renew our commitment to overall well-being. But we can easily be tempted to skip a workout,…

The gig economy poses hurdles but offers big potential

An advantage of working on your own is that there’s no ceiling on how much money you can make

The gig economy poses hurdles but offers big potentialMoving into a new year is a good to time to plan ahead. But it’s become difficult and even frightening to do so in our work lives. Jobs are disappearing. People are being replaced by robots and other forms of automation. And it’s not just mechanical tasks, but also higher-level white-collar work like medical diagnosis…