CIFAR and Mila name five new Canada CIFAR AI Chairs

Glen Berseth, Anna Huang, Foutse Khomh, Bang Liu and Dhanya Sridhar

Glen Berseth, Anna Huang, Foutse Khomh, Bang Liu and Dhanya Sridhar

Five researchers affiliated with UdeM will receive long-term, dedicated research funding to support their research and help them train the next generation of AI leaders.

Five Mila members, four of whom are affiliated with the Université de Montréal and one with Polytechnique Montréal, have been recognized for their leadership by being named Canada CIFAR AI Chairs. The new Chairs contribute diverse expertise to the Canadian ecosystem, from causality to natural language processing, and software engineering to AI-generated music.

They join a thriving Quebec AI ecosystem, centred around Mila, one of three national AI Institutes established through the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy in 2017.

"The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs are some of the most recognized machine learning researchers in the world. The Chairs program provides a collaborative network for talented researchers to not only push the technical boundaries of their fields, but also to examine the role of AI in addressing global societal issues such as climate change; health; and equity, diversity and inclusion," says Elissa Strome, Executive Director of the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy.

The five new chairs are:

  • Glen Berseth (Mila, Université de Montréal) - With a research focus on robotics and machine learning, Glen Berseth was part of a Berkeley robotics team that used reinforcement learning to teach robots how to walk, assemble furniture, and clean rooms.
  • Anna Huang (Mila, Université de Montréal, Google) - a composer turned ML researcher, taking a human-centered approach to ML and creativity, with the goal of expanding the creative reach of both novices and experienced artists. Anna Huang was an organizer and judge for the AI Song Contest, creator of Music Transformer and the ML model Coconet that powered Google’s first AI Doodle (the "Bach Doodle").
  • Bang Liu (Mila, Université de Montréal) - With research interests including natural language processing, data mining, multimodal and multitask learning, Bang Liu’s work also explores the intersection of AI with applications including social media, health, and animation.
  • Dhanya Sridhar (Mila, Université de Montréal) - Moving from Columbia University, Dhanya Sridhar will pursue work in the areas of machine learning, causality and computational social science. Recent work included developing new methods and results for understanding the effects of language.
  • Foutse Khomh (Mila, Polytechnique Montréal) - As leader of the SWAT Lab at Polytechnique Montréal, Foutse Khomh’s research spans software maintenance and evolution, machine learning systems engineering, cloud engineering, and dependable and trustworthy ML/AI.

The CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy advances AI research, training, and innovation to deliver economic impact and improve the lives of Canadians. By 2030, Canada will have one of the most robust national AI ecosystems in the world, founded on scientific excellence, high-quality training, world-class AI talent, and interdisciplinary public-private collaboration.

Learn more about the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy

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