Our Forum on AI: focus on integration to businesses

Are you wondering how to successfully integrate artificial Intelligence to your company? This is the question speakers at our most recent Strategic Forum on artificial intelligence tried to answer.

More than 750 participants gathered at the Palais des congrès on February 24 for the third edition, which was a big success. Building on the strength of the past two editions, the main goal of the Forum was to encourage and equip Quebec companies that want to make this technological shift and create a setting conducive to networking and business opportunities.

February 24, 2020
750 participants

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“Montréal has made its mark internationally as a hub for artificial intelligence, and the cluster concept is extremely promising. The goal of the Forum is to see how we can work together to organize and take advantage of this expertise to support and help companies integrate AI in their organization.”

– Michel Leblanc
President and CEO
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

“Montréal’s artificial intelligence ecosystem rivals other ecosystems around the world. I am confident that your discussions today will help us strengthen our position as an international leader in this sector.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Part I – Montréal’s AI community is growing

Talent, research and marketing: Preparing for the future of the Quebec ecosystem

“It is essential that business people, regardless of their role, think about integrating artificial intelligence within their business. It takes a great deal of leadership and the desire to educate members of your organization to better incorporate AI in strategic decisions.”

– Valérie Pisano
President and CEO

Strength in numbers: The advantages of AI collaboration

“Since 2016, we have been seeing a lot of new players emerge in Montréal’s artificial intelligence ecosystem. But the world is big: if we want Montréal to maintain its role as a hub, we need to think about the international visibility we want and how that will be structured.”

– Gilles Savard

“Integrating artificial intelligence in aerospace involves collaboration. We have a lot of experts in our sector, but few data specialists. This is why we try to encourage cross-sector cooperation.”

– Fassi Kafyeke
Senior Director, Innovation

Local emerging players in AI

“To succeed at integrating AI to your business, you need to use your strengths and make up for your weaknesses by partnering with research centres. The watchword: focus.”

– Anne Martel
Co-Founder, SVP Operations
Element AI

“We rely on our internal expertise and partner with external champions to guide us in integrating AI to our company. We can’t be afraid to be ambitious. We have to step into that role.”

– Frantz Saintellemy
President and Chief Operating Officer

Part II – The transformative power of AI for business

Adopting AI thanks to the democratization of technology

“To apply AI, it doesn’t take an army of data scientists. We are seeing the emergence of concrete products and platforms – fintech, procurement, etc. – that are available to support companies and allow them to remain competitive in their market.”

– Louis Têtu
Chairman and CEO

Artificial intelligence in business – Videotron’s experience

“At Videotron, data is studied with a magnifying glass. Our business vision is to be a partner in your connected life. We cannot achieve this goal without artificial intelligence.”

– Mario Lessard
General Manager, Big Data Strategy and Business Intelligence

What are the hurdles to adopting AI in a company?

“We cannot consider artificial intelligence as an objective in itself, but rather as a destination. You have to go step by step to transform data into true competitive advantage.”

– Jean-Philippe Senneville
Director, Business Innovation and Technology
BDC Advisory Services

Challenges and opportunities of AI in banking: An account of our experience at National Bank

“When you think of artificial intelligence, you think a lot about marketing and how AI can help us reach clients at the right time.”

– Simona Gandrabur, Ph. D.
Lead, Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Strategy for the Wealth Division
National Bank of Canada

“There are four main challenges to integrating AI in our sector: the cost of centralizing data; the search for and acquisition of talent; the organizational challenges affecting internal education; and the social impact of governance and data ownership. The latter two have direct consequences on people’s perception of AI, and the resulting need to put in place clear guardrails.”

– Manuel Morales
Chief AI Scientist
National Bank of Canada

Piloting an AI project in logistics

“You don’t need to be a multinational or a start-up to do AI: with the Montréal ecosystem at our doorstep, artificial intelligence is accessible to a lot of companies.”

– Simon Boivin
Head of AI Products
Ray-Mont Logistics International

“When AI is being integrated to companies, people can have high expectations about results and expect perfection. It will never be perfect. This is why we have to get them involved in the process so they can better understand the project and determine what their future contribution will look like.”

– Arnold Liwanag

How to attract, train and retain workers in the age of AI

“One of the major obstacles to attracting non-technical labour is the corporate culture, and therefore people. That’s what will slow the integration of AI, out of fear of being rendered obsolete or because they are caught up in operations. As long as we cannot show them the advantages of a shift to AI, we cannot assume we are ready to take this path.”

– Émélie Brunet
Vice-President, Talent and Ecosystem

“AI is often perceived as a threat, which is why it is important to communicate properly, get people involved people in the change from the outset and explain to them how their skills will be put to use.”

- Manon Poirier
Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés

Transformation... Today? Machine learning, no previous experience required

“Yes, large corporations invest in artificial intelligence when they can, but not all companies do. For example, 80% of companies have considered integrating artificial intelligence to their organization, but around 15% of Canadian companies have actually done it. The main reason? The difficulty of finding and retaining talent.”

– Per Nyberg
Chief Commercial Officer
Stradigi AI

How AI is revolutionizing cybersecurity

“60% of companies say they cannot detect intrusions without the help of AI, and half want to increase their investment in AI to improve their cybersecurity.”

– Luc Sirois
Executive Director

“Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool in the hands of the attacker. But AI can help us identify paths of attack that people have never thought of.”

– Eric Périon
Senior Manager – Cyber and IT Risk Advisory

Part III – AI and social issues

Data at the heart of tomorrow’s energy system

“To better integrate AI to business, you need to develop internal expertise and develop communities of practice. Your best players want to take part in AI projects: give them the time so they don’t start looking elsewhere.”

– Patrick Jeandroz
Head, Expertise – Data Science and High-Performance Computing

Health care and artificial intelligence or how to avoid human error

“As a society, we have a collective duty to do better, particular in the exploitation of data. On the medical front, we need to ensure it will have repercussions not only on diagnoses, but also on the experience between the patient and the physician.”

– Éric Lavallée
Partner, Trademark Agent and Head of Lavery’s Legal Lab on Artificial Intelligence
Lavery Lawyers

Pushing the limits of creative experiences with AI

“The museum experience and our approach to consuming art in all disciplines will change thanks to breakthroughs in AI. The ideas of space and experience are undergoing massive change and evolving with the transfer of ideas and breaking down boundaries.”

– Phoebe Greenberg
Founder and Director

“Artificial intelligence increases the productivity of artists and processes and allows them to focus on creation. It can be seamlessly integrated to the artistic effort.”

- Éric Martel
AI and Machine Learning Director

Two-person conversation – Imagining the city of the future: Challenges and opportunities

“The obstacles to integrating AI in municipalities depend on the size of the beast in question: a small municipality doesn’t necessarily have the resources to integrate and use all their data.”

- Sylvain Perras-
IT Strategy and Transformation Consultant

How Element AI collaborates with governments to ensure the responsible development of AI products

“We hope the lessons learned from human rights risk assessment projects allow us to export a framework of analysis for AI.”

- Marc-Étienne Ouimet
Head, Public Policy and Government Relations
Element AI

How AI will change Quebec’s economy

“Gathering over 700 specialists for a business forum on artificial intelligence tells me that the sector is thriving. Responsible AI is a differentiator for Montréal, and while it is having a considerable impact on all organizations, its development requires sustained efforts to ensure local companies remain competitive.”

- Pierre Boivin
President and CEO
Claridge inc.

The Strategic Forum on Artificial Intelligence was organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.

It was made possible thanks to the invaluable collaboration of our Gold sponsors: National Bank, Lavery Lawyers, the Gouvernement du Québec, and Videotron; our Silver sponsors: Eidos-Montréal, Hydro-Québec, Montreal Gazette and Prompt; and our Bronze sponsors: BDC – Business Development Bank of Canada, CRHA, Loto-Québec and the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

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