How the AI4Good Lab Is Helping Borealis AI and RBC Encourage Diversity in AI
Diversity is one of the main challenges the AI industry is facing, and RBC and Borealis AI are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in AI, alongside many partners in the ecosystem. This summer, in partnership with CIFAR, and with support from RBC, we’re excited to support the growth of AI4Good Lab.
The AI4Good Lab aims to increase gender diversity in AI by providing training and mentorship for people of marginalized gender identities, including but not limited to transgender women, cisgender women, and non-binary people. The program aims to help them start building their careers in the field. Established in 2017 in Montreal, the Lab has recently expanded to Edmonton and Toronto, welcoming nearly 90 students from across the country to its latest cohort. Participants go through an intense machine learning bootcamp that includes lectures, special topic workshops, mentorship and skill-based tutorials to work together on their self-identified team projects, developing their ideas and concepts for a Demo Day presentation.
As key sponsors of this year’s AI4Good Lab program, Borealis AI researchers and RBC business experts from Canada and the US will take an active role in helping participants to gain new skills and explore career pathways in AI and ML.
“AI4Good Lab is a triple-win for RBC. We get to encourage greater diversity in the field of AI. We help progress projects that deliver social good. And we have an opportunity to meet and work with some of the world’s future female and female-identified AI leaders. We are eager to see what this year’s cohort of students will do.” said Bob Blainey, RBC Fellow & Head RBC Brain.
AI4Good Labs is one of several programs that RBC and Borealis AI support, aimed at encouraging diversity in AI. The suite of programs includes Borealis AI internships, Let’s SOLVE it and RBC Amplify programs, offering more opportunities to work with subject-matter experts, advance socially responsible development and adoption of AI, and build careers in the field.
“RBC is dedicated to encouraging diversity, inclusion and equity in everything we do. That means helping diverse talent to understand the opportunities in the field of AI and to figure out what they want to do next. AI4Good Lab gives organizations like RBC an opportunity to help mentor, shape and support a diverse group of students, as they explore their future potential.” added Eddy Ortiz, VP, Solution Acceleration & Innovation, RBC.
With our support for the AI4Good Lab, we are building on the long history of collaboration with CIFAR and our partners at RBC. AI4Good has also joined CIFAR’s suite of national training programs, alongside Borealis AI’s Let’s SOLVE it mentorship program for undergraduate students, announced earlier this year.
“It is programs like the AI4Good Lab – initiatives that bring ecosystems together to inspire and encourage diverse talent – that allow us to really unlock the potential of Canada’s ML and AI research. We’re proud of the work we do with CIFAR on this and other similar projects. And we look forward to seeing what this year’s cohorts will contribute to the field of AI and ML with our support.” noted Dr. Eirene Seiradaki , Director of Research Partnerships at Borealis AI
“With a new program now expanding to Ontario, it is clear there is great demand for initiatives like the AI4Good Lab right across the country. It is deeply encouraging to see more diversity than ever, including new regions, represented in this year’s program. And it is gratifying to see leading Canadian businesses partner with us to support programs like the AI4Good Lab.” said Dr. Elissa Strome, Executive Director of Pan-Canadian AI Strategy at CIFAR and Advisory Board member at AI4Good Lab