Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology and Innovation and Future of AI Council Lead, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
On November 6, 2023, 30 organizations of all types and sizes from across Canada gathered virtually for the inaugural meeting of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Council to discuss the inclusion of AI in Canadian business and policy and the technology’s global potential. This council is not a niche, hyper-specialized group of scientists, but an inclusive cross-section of organizations with an appreciation for the positive economic force that AI could be if developed and deployed responsibly.
The Future of AI Council’s first meeting was strategically held just one week after the Bletchley Declaration and the United States’ White House Executive Order on AI, and as such, both were topics of great interest and discussion. But the topic that dominated the conversation was the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) in Bill C-27. While currently under study by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology, there is still significant work to be done.
Amid these major policy initiatives, the Future of AI Council will focus on proactively guiding federal AI policy in an era of heightened government scrutiny and regulation. The Council will provide a platform for an action-oriented, dynamic forum committed to working with government to encourage Canadian-led innovation and to integrate AI into business in a manner that will greatly increase economic productivity and growth, thus benefiting the lives of Canadians across the country.
The full potential of AI has yet to be unlocked.
“It could not be a more opportune time for the Canadian Chamber’s Future of AI Council,” says Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Council Lead and Senior Director of Digital Economy, Technology and Innovation at the Canadian Chamber. “As AI continues to evolve, it will profoundly affect how people live, work, and interact, which is why the responsible integration of AI into our economy and society is a complex issue that requires a thorough understanding of AI’s risks and benefits.”
The Canadian Chamber and Future of AI Council members acknowledge that there is an understandable focus on reducing and mitigating the risks of AI — but too often the many benefits of this transformative technology get lost among the concerns. As an economic driver, AI is in its infancy and while it is important that we develop smart regulation and guardrails which recognize privacy rights, we need to strike a balance that also supports the innovation and commercialization of AI.
November concluded with the Canadian Chamber’s Artificial Intelligence Executive Summit, a half-day deep dive into the ethical and responsible adoption of AI, featuring Deputy Minister Simon Kennedy of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) as the keynote. The Executive Summit served as the Canadian Chamber’s next step in taking a leading role in advocating for policies that will establish AI as a positive economic force.
Learn more about the Canadian Chamber’s Future of AI Council.