Canada is often touted as an early leader in the global artificial intelligence (AI) race — and in many ways this assessment is correct. We have world-leading AI researchers and research institutions, substantial public sector investments, as set out in the most recent federal budget, and a proliferation of promising AI start-ups. Unfortunately, when it comes to AI’s potential impact on Canada’s economy, we are starting the race several steps behind.
For Canadian firms to capture the value of AI and translate our strong knowledge base into future economic growth, we must make immediate and sizable complementary investments into everything from structured data to redesigned workflows. Perhaps most important, we must also invest in the leadership and talent needed to effectively integrate AI systems into existing businesses.
But to date, when we think of AI talent, we immediately focus on machine learning experts. And while having technical expertise is absolutely indispensable, to win the AI race we need a more holistic understanding of what constitutes an effective AI team, from the C-suite to marketing and business development.