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Scotiabank Helps Shape the Future of Artificial Intelligence with Donation to the University of Ottawa

The $750,000 donation will launch the Scotiabank AI & Society Initiative

Published 02-03-20

Submitted by Scotiabank

Today, Scotiabank announced a donation of $750,000 to the University of Ottawa to launch the Scotiabank AI & Society Initiative.  

The Scotiabank AI & Society Initiative will initiate two research projects.  AI & Inclusion will support research focused on design ethics and inclusive AI systems, while AI & Regulation will explore global AI regulations and their impact on Canadian policy makers.  Scotiabank's philanthropic investment will support educational opportunities such as postdoctoral fellowships, international internships, and research fellowships for students, and support experiential learning for students, as they learn to use artificial intelligence to transform life and work across multiple facets of industry and society. As the technology evolves, Scotiabank is committed to supporting communities of expertise for the ethical use of AI across society.

"At Scotiabank, our investment in AI goes beyond the implementation of new tools and technologies," says Lora Paglia, Senior Vice President of Global Risk Management, Analytics. "We are committed to being leaders in the development of principles, guidelines and training for the appropriate application of this powerful technology. This partnership with the University of Ottawa allows us to help our future leaders as they build the future of AI."

"uOttawa is pleased to accept this generous gift from Scotiabank, which will further strengthen our proven capacity to provide Canadians with leading-edge research and regulatory guidance for the ethical use of AI in business, in medicine and elsewhere in our daily lives," Says Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa. "As we shift more and more of our social decision-making to intelligent algorithms, it is vital that we also critically assess the implications of these tools to ensure that they are designed and managed for the benefit of all. By supporting this work, Scotiabank's gift will ultimately benefit all Canadians."

The Scotiabank AI & Society Initiative will help to identify solutions to essential issues related to ethical AI and technology development, and will offer students opportunities to gain experience in an emerging field that will have profound implications for Canadian society in the years to come.

Scotiabank believes that this investment in education is an investment in the long-term security, stability and growth in the future of our communities. Investments in academic institutions position young people to acquire the skills and resources necessary to support their success in the digital economy and Scotiabank looks forward to witnessing the resulting accomplishments and milestones in the years ahead.

"The rapid pace of AI development adds to the challenges facing modern societies, their citizens and raises multiple ethical, legal, and policy issues. For 20 years, uOttawa has been a global leader of the conversation technology law, ethics and policy for the benefits of Canadians and the rest of the world. Building on those previous successes, the new initiative will help shape a more inclusive digital society," says Dr. Florian Martin-Bariteau, who will lead the new AI + Society Initiative.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. We are here for every future. We help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 100,000 employees and assets of over $1 trillion (as at October 31, 2019), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

About University of Ottawa

As the world's largest bilingual (French-English) university, the University of Ottawa is committed to academic and research excellence and values cultural diversity, equity and inclusion. With more than 24 interdisciplinary research centres, institutes and a hub, uOttawa promotes dynamic research collaboration and leverages Ottawa's government laboratories, industry and policymakers. The University of Ottawa is a leader in developing responsible AI through research, training and innovation that integrate disciplines and communities for the benefit of Canada and the world. For more information, please visit: research.uottawa.ca/special-projects/artificial-intelligence.

For media enquiries only: Nicole Stevenson, Scotiabank, Nicole.Stevenson@scotiabank.com, 437.227.3942

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