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News & Ideas

April 2019  | ISSUE No. 53 

In this issue:
President's Message | Advances | In Profile | Announcements | Events | Awards & Honours



New portfolio, new opportunities

In 2017, CIFAR issued our second Global Call for Ideas. We invited the global research community to propose new programs that address complex, fundamental questions of importance to the world. The ideas had to be novel and bold, with the potential to change the conversation in important areas of science, and have exceptional leadership and proposed membership.



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CIFAR announces new research programs, AI Chairs

New portfolio takes risks, convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

Top scientists and scholars from around the world have new opportunities for collaboration today with the announcement of CIFAR’s new research portfolio and the expansion of the Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program. The 13 programs address critical questions across four interdisciplinary theme areas: Life & Health, Individuals & Society, Information & Matter and Earth & Space.


Turing Award honours CIFAR’s ‘pioneers of AI’

CIFAR Fellows Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun were jointly awarded the prestigious A.M. Turing Award for their development of "deep learning."

The award is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing,” and is given by the Association of Computing Machinery for major contributions of lasting importance to computing. It carries a $1 million prize.


Bias in Children

New study shows racial and gender bias in 4-year-old children

Even before they go to kindergarten, children show clear evidence of bias at the intersection of race and gender, according to new research from CIFAR Associate Fellow Sandra Waxman.



Understanding intelligence

Canada CIFAR AI Chair Blake Richards researches neuroscience and artificial intelligence in an attempt understand how the human brain learns and processes memories. He says that his research is inspired by how remarkable he finds the human brain.

“Considering how hard it is to program a computer to behave intelligently, and the fact that billions of humans are remarkably intelligent, makes the intersection of neuroscience and AI quite magical,” says Richards, a fellow in the Learning in Machines & Brains and Child & Brain Development programs at CIFAR.



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CIFAR launches national AI newsletter

Interested in learning more about AI in Canada and the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy? Subscribe to the AICan Bulletin, a bi-monthly newsletter about AI in Canada, produced by CIFAR in collaboration with Amii, Mila and the Vector Institute.



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CIFAR Global Call for Ideas: A Celebration of Excellence

Save the Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Time: 6 PM - 10 PM
Location: The Carlu, 444 Yonge Street, Toronto
Tickets: $150
Purchase a table: $1,500

Please join us on May 22, 2019, for an introduction to CIFAR’s new portfolio of research programs and a celebration of our Global Call for Ideas. It will be an evening of novel, bold and transformative ideas.



Michael Kobor (Child & Brain Development, University of British Columbia) has received a $445,000 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to examine the relationship between diet, the epigenome and health. Through his NutriPROGRAM project he is studying European children to evaluate how their diets may affect metabolism and health later in life.

Eric Wieschaus (Humans & the Microbiome, Princeton University) has been named a fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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