AI + Public Policy: Understanding the Shift

On March 23, 2018, we brought together senior government leaders and industry experts for a day of stimulating speakers and in-depth discussions on AI and its potential impacts on public policy
AI + Public Policy: Understanding the Shift

Ontario is an emerging AI leader

On March 23, 2018, AI + Public Policy: Understanding the Shift conference brought together senior government leaders and industry experts for a day of stimulating speakers and in-depth discussions on the past, present, and future of AI and its potential impacts on public policy.

Recent technological advances have drastically improved the capabilities of artificial intelligence algorithms, and Canada is at the forefront of this wave. But, beyond research and commercialization opportunities, AI has the potential to fundamentally alter our society, with enormous potential consequences for public policy and government services.

Understanding this shift is critical to governments and policymakers as we move into a world that is increasingly influenced by technological change. Ontario has an opportunity to be a leader in the understanding and application of AI to public policy challenges.



Presented By

In Partnership With

Morning: Level Setting

The field of AI contains a variety of technologies, each at differing maturity levels, that pose a range of benefits and challenges when applied to public life. The morning session will focus on providing foundational knowledge, equipping policy leaders with a better understanding of technology and applications of AI, as well as the significant implications for government.


Registration Opens, Networking + Light Breakfast


Opening Remarks from the Government of Ontario + the Brookfield Institute


Historical Context: Why Now?


AI 101: Understanding the Technology – Part I


AI 101: Understanding the Technology – Part II
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Image Recognition + Computer Vision
  • Robotics




So What? Implications of AI for Policymakers


Lunch + Networking


Special Topic: “Digital Deceit”

Afternoon: Drilling Down

Through identifying the considerations and risks that AI possesses for policymakers, the afternoon will involve interactive discussion on the cross-cutting opportunities and risks that AI presents in and outside of government.


Cross-Cutting Implications of AI
  • Ethics
  • Bias
  • Explainability
  • Safety
  • Privacy
  • Accountability




The Simple Economics of AI


Decoding AI: Impacts for Policymakers


Wrap Up + Reflections


End of Day
Kathryn Hume
Vice President of Product and Strategy
Graham Taylor
Co-Founder, + Associate Professor - University of Guelph
Brian Purcell
Watson + Cloud Leader, Ontario + Atlantic Public Sector IBM
Michael Karlin
Senior Advisor Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Elissa Strome
Executive Director, Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy CIFAR
Ben Scott
Ben Scott
Senior Advisor, New America (Washington, D.C.) Senior Advisor, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (Berlin)
Taylor Owen
Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs University of British Columbia
Abhishek Gupta
AI Ethics Researcher, McGill University Agile Security Master + Software Developer, Ericsson
Lex Gill
Research Fellow Citizen Lab
Carole Piovesan
AI Lead, McCarthy Tetrault
Avi Goldfarb
Professor, Rotman School of Management - University of Toronto
Jimoh Ovbiagele
Co-founder + CTO, Ross Intelligence
Kosta Derpanis
Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director, Department of Computer Science, Ryerson University
Alan Veerman
Chief Operating Officer, Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This package provides an overview of the key concepts and cross-cutting issues in an AI-enabled world. Beginning with the origins of artificial intelligence, it explores the present-day capabilities and the challenges and opportunities associated with technological advances and their application to public life and public policy. Prepared for participants in advance of the AI+Public Policy conference, these materials are available for public distribution. Both technologists and public servants are encouraged to read these in advance of the event as a level-set prior to what will be a dynamic conversation.

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