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In May 2017, Uber announced it had hired a renowned University of Toronto professor to lead a Toronto-based team that develops autonomous car technology.

The ride-hailing company also pledged $5 million for the university’s brand new Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

While the move drew praise from academics, others derided the notion that taxpayers should pay the salary of a professor whose intellectual property (IP) would go to a foreign corporation.

“The Canadian government has in fact been funding AI (artificial intelligence) research for over three decades,” Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of BlackBerry, told The Canadian Press in an email.

“The problem is that it all it went to foreign multinationals who now charge Canada for the use of technology that our taxpayers paid for.”

Source: CBC News

Date: February 7th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/artificial-intelligence-funding-canada-commercialization-1.5009458

Discussion

1) Do both sides have a good point?

2) How important is it for the Canadian government to fund research before technology transfer?

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