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Google funding to help Edmonton-based AI centre develop autonomous modular water treatment plant

An Edmonton-based artificial intelligence group is one of three Canadian AI entities receiving new research grants from Google Canada.

The non-profit Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), along with Canadian Institute for Advanced Research in Toronto and the International Center of Expertise of Montreal on AI will receive $2.7 million in funding from to support research in areas including sustainability and responsible development of AI.

Google’s grant to Amii will support its autonomous drinking water project, which supports the use of modular water treatment plants in areas across Canada that don’t currently have access to clean drinking water using reinforcement learning.

Amii, created in 2002, is one of three Canadian AI centres backed by the federal Pan-Canadian AI Strategy.

Mara Cairo, the product owner of Amii’s advanced technology team, says the grant funding will help Amii bring clean drinking water to communities more quickly.

“This funding from Google is really great because it allows us to accelerate the work that we’ve been doing, put a ton of really important resources on the project, and make really quick progress over the next year, to hopefully bring it to life,” Cairo told CTV News Edmonton.

“This year, we’re focused on the pilot. We need to prove that our assumptions are going to work in reality, so we start small, and then hopefully, by the end of the year, we have a really good understanding of the feasibility of this … and then it’ll form a blueprint for what the next steps would be in terms of actually deploying these into those communities.”

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Dave Mitchell

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