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Accenture Executive Co-Hosts New Podcast Series on the Future of Artificial Intelligence in Canada

Jodie Wallis, Accenture's AI lead in Canada, joins business journalist Amanda Lang in "The AI Effect"

TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2018 /CNW/ - Accenture (NYSE: ACN) executive Jodie Wallis, who leads the company's artificial intelligence (AI) practice in Canada, has joined award-winning business journalist Amanda Lang as a co-host of "The AI Effect," a five-episode podcast mini-series exploring AI in Canada.

The five-part series, which launches today, features interviews with those shaping the country's AI ecosystem, including top academics, policy makers, business leaders and executives at innovative startups. It is available to download for free at theEffect.ai.

"This is an exciting time for AI in Canada, as key stakeholders from all aspects of the ecosystem work together to address the issue of commercialization," Wallis said. "Canada has always been at the forefront of AI research led by our academic institutions, but as the technology develops we must ensure we have solutions in place to prepare the workforce, attract and keep talent here, support Canadian startups, and encourage adoption by Canadian businesses. By deploying AI responsibly and combining it with industry and analytics expertise, applied intelligence will enable the digital transformation of organizations, extend human capabilities, and make intelligent products and services a reality."

Notable guests interviewed by Lang and Wallis in The AI Effect include: The Honorable Navdeep Bains, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Richard Zemel, co-founder and director of research at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Ann Cavoukian, distinguished expert-in-residence leading the Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence at Ryerson University and former Ontario privacy commissioner; Foteini Agrafioti, head of Borealis AI and chief science officer at the Royal Bank of Canada; Joshua Gans, Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto; and Peter Misek, a partner at BDC's IT Venture Fund.

Each episode features guests discussing various issues and challenges facing the Canadian AI ecosystem, including:

  • AI in Canada: now and in the future;
  • Ecosystem perspectives: industry, government, startups, academia, investors;
  • Drivers of change: the role of Canadian startups in the AI landscape;
  • Balancing innovation and safety: ethics, transparency, bias and privacy; and
  • Human-centered AI: developing and retaining the skills to lead.

"Here in Canada, we have a strong history of research in machine learning and deep learning," Zemel said. "In recent years, the availability of more data and computing power has really opened doors for the application of AI technologies. This is an exciting time for AI in Canada, and I'm pleased to see that academics, policy makers and business leaders are contributing to the conversation about the future."

Cavoukian said, "AI today is very different than AI will be tomorrow, and the opportunities for businesses to innovate through this emerging technology have never been greater. However, as AI becomes more ingrained in all aspects of our society, we must guard against its possible misuse by ensuring that we proactively embed in AI measures addressing the ethical issues of privacy, transparency and accountability."

The AI Effect podcast fosters Accenture's ongoing commitment to AI in Canada. Accenture's founding sponsorship of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence is a significant initiative that demonstrates the company's continued commitment to driving innovation in Canada.

The AI Effect is produced by Antica Productions for the eOne Podcast Network and is sponsored by Accenture.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world's largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 435,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Accenture plans to hire 1,100 people in Canada in its current fiscal year. Visit us at www.accenture.com.