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Carnegie Mellon professor headed to Toronto to lead AI institute |

Carnegie Mellon professor headed to Toronto to lead AI institute

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:39 a.m
Garth Gibson, a CMU professor, has been named the first president and CEO of the Toronto-based Vector Institute. (Photo from Matthew Plexman for the Vector Institute)

A Carnegie Mellon University professor will return to his northern roots to head a new institute focused on artificial intelligence.

Garth Gibson, a professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering, will be the first CEO and president of the Toronto-based Vector Institute.

Founded in March, the Vector Institute seeks to use AI to improve the economy and lives of Canadians. The institute is heavily funded by the government and private companies, the Globe and Mail has reported . It has received $50 million from Ontario and $85 million from Canada’s biggest banks and tech companies like Alphabet, Google’s parent company; Uber; Shopify; and Magna International.

“Vector’s mandate calls for a leader with expertise in advanced science, entrepreneurship and business. Dr. Garth Gibson is that leader, and we are very fortunate to welcome him to the Vector Institute,” Ed Clark, the founding chair of the institute, said in a statement.

Toronto has recently emerged as a hub for AI research. Uber announced it would set up an artificial intelligence lab in the city in May.

“Canada has the potential to become a global leader in advancing AI research, development and commercialization, and all of Canada stands to benefit as a result,” Gibson said in a statement. “I am excited about returning home to help lead these efforts with the Vector Institute.”

Gibson will start Jan. 2.

Gibson grew up in Aurora, Ontario, north of Toronto. He came to CMU in 1991 after studying at the University of California, Berkeley. His work at CMU has spanned from data storage to supercomputing to the cloud. In 2012, Gibson formed the Big Learning research group to apply the emerging field of machine learning to big data.

Construction is under way on the institute’s offices at the University of Toronto, Reuters reported . The university is where Geoffrey Hinton, an AI pioneer, made breakthroughs in deep learning.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Aaron at 412-320-7986, or via Twitter .

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