I received (via email) a December 11, 2017 notice from the Canadian Science Policy Centre that the 2017 Proceedings for the ninth annual conference (Nov. 1 – 3, 2017 in Ottawa, Canada) can now be accessed,
The Canadian Science Policy Centre is pleased to present you the Proceedings of CSPC 2017. Check out the reports and takeaways for each panel session, which have been carefully drafted by a group of professional writers. You can also listen to the audio recordings and watch the available videos. The proceedings page will provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in all of the discussions at the conference. Feel free to share the ones you like! Also, check out the CSPC 2017 reports, analyses, and stats in the proceedings.
CSPC 2017 Interviews
Take a look at the 70+ one-on-one interviews with prominent figures of science policy. The interviews were conducted by the great team of CSPC 2017 volunteers. The interviews feature in-depth perspectives about the conference, panels, and new up and coming projects.
Amongst many others, you can find a video of Governor General Julie Payette’s notorious remarks made at the opening ceremonies and which I highlighted in my November 3, 2017 posting about this year’s conference.
The proceedings are organized by day with links to individual pages for each session held that day. Here’s a sample of what is offered on Day 1: Artificial Intelligence and Discovery Science: Playing to Canada’s Strengths,
Artificial Intelligence and Discovery Science: Playing to Canada’s Strengths
Conference Day:Day 1 – November 1st 2017
Organized by: Friends of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Keynote: Alan Bernstein, President and CEO, CIFAR, 2017 Henry G. Friesen International Prizewinner
Speakers: Brenda Andrews, Director, Andrew’s Lab, University of Toronto; Doina Precup, Associate Professor, McGill University; Dr Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec; Linda Rabeneck, Vice President, Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario; Peter Zandstra, Director, School of Biomedical Engineering, University of British Columbia
Discussants: Henry Friesen, Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba; Roderick McInnes, Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Director, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University; Duncan J. Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Vivek Goel, Vice President, Research and Innovation, University of Toronto
Moderators: Eric Meslin, President & CEO, Council of Canadian Academies; André Picard, Health Reporter and Columnist, The Globe and MailTakeaways and recommendations:
The opportunity for Canada
- The potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) could be as significant as the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
- Canada’s global advantage in deep learning (a subset of machine learning) stems from the pioneering work of Geoffrey Hinton and early support from CIFAR and NSERC.
- AI could mark a turning point in Canada’s innovation performance, fueled by the highest levels of venture capital financing in nearly a decade, and underpinned by publicly funded research at the federal, provincial and institutional levels.
- The Canadian AI advantage can only be fully realized by developing and importing skilled talent, accessible markets, capital and companies willing to adopt new technologies into existing industries.
- Canada leads in the combination of functional genomics and machine learning which is proving effective for predicting the functional variation in genomes.
- AI promises advances in biomedical engineering by connecting chronic diseases – the largest health burden in Canada – to gene regulatory networks by understanding how stem cells make decisions.
- AI can be effectively deployed to evaluate health and health systems in the general population.
- AI brings potential ethical and economic perils and requires a watchdog to oversee standards, engage in fact-based debate and prepare for the potential backlash over job losses to robots.
- The ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social (GEL3S) aspects of genomics have been largely marginalized and it’s important not to make the same mistake with AI.
- AI’s rapid scientific development makes it difficult to keep pace with safeguards and standards.
- The fields of AI’s and pattern recognition are strongly connected but here is room for improvement.
- Self-learning algorithms such as Alphaville could lead to the invention of new things that humans currently don’t know how to do. The field is developing rapidly, leading to some concern over the deployment of such systems.
Training future AI professionals
- Young researchers must be given the oxygen to excel at AI if its potential is to be realized.
- Students appreciate the breadth of training and additional resources they receive from researchers with ties to both academia and industry.
- The importance of continuing fundamental research in AI is being challenged by companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon which are hiring away key talent.
- The explosion of AI is a powerful illustration of how the importance of fundamental research may only be recognized and exploited after 20 or 30 years. As a result, support for fundamental research, and the students working in areas related to AI, must continue.Documents:
A couple comments
To my knowledge, this is the first year the proceedings have been made so easily accessible. In fact, I can’t remember another year where they have been open access. Thank you!
Of course, I have to make a comment about the Day 2 session titled: Does Canada have a Science Culture? The answer is yes and it’s in the province of Ontario. Just take a look at the panel,
Organized by: Kirsten Vanstone, Royal Canadian Institute for Science and Reinhart Reithmeier, Professor, University of Toronto [in Ontario]
Speakers: Chantal Barriault, Director, Science Communication Graduate Program, Laurentian University [in Ontario] and Science North [in Ontario]; Maurice Bitran, CEO, Ontario Science Centre [take a wild guess as to where this institution is located?]; Kelly Bronson, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa [in Ontario]; Marc LePage, President and CEO, Genome Canada [in Ontario]
Moderator: Ivan Semeniuk, Science Reporter, The Globe and Mail [in Ontario]
In fact, all of the institutions are in southern Ontario, even, the oddly named Science North.
I know from bitter experience it’s hard to put together panels but couldn’t someone from another province have participated?
Ah well, here’s hoping for 2018 and for a new location. After Ottawa as the CSPC site for three years in a row, please don’t make it a fourth year in a row.