Digital Policy Salon: Building Domain Expertise in AI



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Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Building Domain Expertise in AI
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #39 • View online
Welcome to the 39th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
We’re pleased to feature new research on workforce development in AI this week, with a particular focus on the healthcare and financial services industries. On theme, our weekly perspective piece is a foundational article from ICTC’s Dr. Peter Taillon, which examines AI applications in the forestry industry in Canada. Similarly, “what we’re reading” includes a new essay on co-creating personal narratives with the help of GPT-3. All these pieces show that AI forms and applications have become extensively diverse, and our most recent report argues that training should reflect this through cross-training AI specialists with domain and business experts.
Our policy updates zoom in on investment into broadband infrastructure, smart cities, and clean technology in Canada. Finally, ICTC will be hosting a smart city engagement event in Halifax on March 30th: if you’re reading from the Halifax region, reserve your place today.
- The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Federal, Québec governments invest heavily in broadband infrastructure
The federal and Québec governments are co-investing $826.3 million to increase access to high-speed internet among 150,000 households in Québec by 2022. According to the Prime Minister, “high-speed internet is becoming a basic utility, like water, or electricity.”
Not-for-profits partner with government to develop Canada’s first open smart city plan
Open North, a Canadian not-for-profit focused on smart city research and advisory services, is collaborating with NewCities to develop Canada’s first Open Smart City Strategic Plan for Trois-Rivierès, Québec. The open smart city approach places a strong emphasis on collaboration between residents and civil, private, and public partners to deliver data solutions that are ethical, accountable, and transparent.
Fort Nelson First Nation leading geothermal project in Northern BC
The Fort Nelson First Nation has secured the funds needed to pursue a 100-million-dollar geothermal, clean energy project in Clark Lake, British Columbia. The project could create up to 15 megawatts of renewable energy, which is enough to power about 14,000 homes, and could also be used to power local greenhouses, improving food security.
Canadian health tech goes public
Maple Corp, an expanding Canadian telemedicine company, is expected to go public this summer. Similarly, Canadian Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. will do so next week. These are just two of several recent IPOs for similar Canadian companies, not witnessed “since the dot-com boom more than 20 years ago.”
Our Perspective
Artificial Intelligence and the Forestry Sector
Special Events
Halifax Smart Cities Community Event
What We're Reading
Nothing Breaks Like A.I. Heart
Federal Government Looks for Feedback on Modernizing Labour Code
Research Visualized
Canadian GDP dropped drastically from March to April to below 2011 levels; by October, it had recovered to just 3.5% below October 2019 levels. Again, the pandemic’s impact on GDP was not felt equally across the Canadian economy, instead varying significantly between sectors. In the ICT sector, GDP was initially only set back by about one year but, by October, had realized year-over-year gains. Together, the GDP trends and employment data demonstrate just how resilient the tech industry has been throughout the pandemic. See ICTC’s Building Canada’s Future AI Workforce for further details.
Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0287-01 Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last 5 months DOI:
Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0287-01 Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last 5 months DOI:
Smart Government: A Digital Think Tank by ICTC Guest Speaker Presentation
Smart Government: A Digital Think Tank by ICTC Guest Speaker Presentation
Our Research
Building Canada’s Future AI Workforce
Twitter Highlights
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