Medical startups compete for $15,000 in prizes at U of T accelerator’s pitch event

From using seal oil to treat nerve damage to a new tool to aid minimally invasive surgery, entrepreneurs from the University of Toronto and beyond tested out health-focused business ideas during the Health Innovation Hub’s (H2i) recent pitch competition.

Six startups presented their ideas before a panel of three judges at U of T’s ONRamp co-working space for entrepreneurs before being questioned about their products, markets and business models.

One of the winning startups, called Xpan, took home $5,000 for its attempt to improve on a surgical device called a trocar, a T-shaped implement used to create a portal into the abdomen during laparoscopic surgery.

Trudeau gets his geek on at U of T, talking AI and Canada’s future

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed his nerd-in-chief reputation and outlined his government’s vision to capitalize on Canada’s early lead in artificial intelligence, or AI, during an appearance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Trudeau, a self-professed “geek,” was a special guest at the annual business of AI conference hosted by Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), a seed stage accelerator that specializes in building AI-powered startups.

Quizzed on his AI knowledge, Trudeau compared the technology to playing chess against a computer that not only made moves based on cold hard calculations, but “leaps of instinct” that mimic how the human brain works.

Businesses need to prepare for AI revolution, Rotman dean says in Globe and Mail op-ed

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is poised to unleash another technological revolution and businesses need to embrace the coming change or risk being left in its wake, according to Globe and Mail op-ed co-written by Tiff Macklem, the dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
The op-ed, written with McKinsey & Co. partners Vincent Bérubé and John Kelleher, argues AI technologies will do for cognitive tasks what the steam engine did for physical ones – forever changing the world in the process.
It comes as Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab accelerator is set to host a sold-out conference Thursday on the business of AI called “Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence” that will be attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a long list of AI researchers, entrepreneurs and investors.

‘The conscience of AI’: Why this U of T expert created a forum for AI researchers and entrepreneurs to discuss ethics

Markus Dubber’s first brush with artificial intelligence, or AI, occurred in an unlikely place: a performance of his daughter’s choir.

The director of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics bumped into Ajay Agrawal, another proud parent who also happens to be a professor at U of T’s Rotman School of Management and the founder of U of T’s Creative Destruction Lab – a seed stage accelerator that specializes in scaling startups that employ AI technologies.

It wasn’t long before Dubber was invited to attend the lab’s events to get a sense of the difficult ethical questions that inevitably arise when machines are asked to make decisions and exercise judgment.

U of T co-op students develop app for Rouge National Urban Park

A new mobile app for Rouge National Urban Park, developed by University of Toronto students, is like having a seasoned tour guide right in the palm of your hands.

“We wanted the app to be user-friendly and fun, one that highlights the amazing ecology and cultural history for people in real time,” says Kaitlyn Chow, a graduate of the master’s program in environmental science at U of T Scarborough who helped develop the app.

Chow worked on the content side of the app along with fellow environmental science master’s student Winston Lee, while computer science students Derek EthertonAlex Cavanagh, Dayde Reidand Brian Au developed the technical side.

In gathering information for the app, they hiked the park and consulted with Indigenous groups, local experts, Parks Canada staff, and long-time residents of the area.

Tech guru Mooly Eden to talk at U of T about future of AI, robotics

After more than three decades on the front lines of the tech revolution, Israel’s Mooly Eden can confidently predict two things about the future: The pace of technological change will continue to accelerate exponentially, and we’re not doing nearly enough to keep up.

Take, for example, the suddenly hot field of artificial intelligence, or AI, in which the University of Toronto has emerged as an early leader.

Eden, who spent more than 30 years at chip giant Intel Corp. and until four years ago was in charge of the firm’s biggest business unit, says AI and robotics technologies will have a profound impact on industries that range from transportation to medicine.

“I believe it’s a tsunami,” he says in an interview. “The change is going to be huge – and it won’t only be a technological change, but a social change.

U of T startup lands financing to grow its AI-powered legal research business

Jimoh Ovbiagele says the story of ROSS Intelligence began in the hallways of the University of Toronto’s department of computer science. This week, ROSS added another chapter.

The company, which uses artificial intelligence, or AI, to speed up legal research, said it raised US$8.7 million in new funding, led by iNovia Capital with participation from Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Y Combinator Continuity, Real Ventures, Dentons’ NextLaw Labs and angel investors, reports TechCrunch.

A quantum leap? Inside a U of T accelerator’s bold bet on the future of artificial intelligence

Launching a startup is difficult enough – never mind one that requires a yet-to-be realized technology to succeed.

That’s the daunting challenge faced by Robert Schaffer, a condensed matter physicist with a PhD from the University of Toronto. He is one of about 40 aspiring entrepreneurs taking part in a bold, new quantum machine learning program developed by the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), a seed-stage accelerator located at U of T’s Rotman School of Management.

The program is touted as the first-ever attempt by a business accelerator to marry the booming field of machine learning with the nascent technology of quantum computing, which involves using tiny, atom-sized particles to perform ultra-complex calculations.

If it works, Schaffer reasons he and his colleagues will help launch a new industry with the potential to super-charge all manner of existing artificial intelligence, or AI, applications – tackling everything from drug discovery to self-driving cars – while opening the door to countless others.