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The Canadian federal government has announced a $2.4 billion investment to accelerate the country’s artificial intelligence (AI) sector. The investment will be spread across various measures aimed at boosting job growth in the AI and tech industry, as well as increasing businesses’ productivity. The majority of the funds, $2 billion, will be used to improve access to computing and technological infrastructure, while $200 million will go towards supporting AI start-ups in critical sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, and manufacturing. Additional funds will be allocated to help small and medium-sized businesses adopt AI, as well as to train workers whose jobs may be disrupted by the technology.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized that the investment in AI is crucial for the future of the workforce and economy, ensuring that every industry and generation has the tools needed to succeed in the economy of tomorrow. Trudeau highlighted the importance of AI in creating a fairer future with more jobs, growth, and homes for Canadians. The announcement comes at a time when AI use is on the rise in Canada, with 30% of Canadians currently utilizing AI tools. The demand for Canadians with AI skills has also increased significantly, making innovation and technology among the highest paying industries in the country.

The new AI investment is part of Ottawa’s 2024 budget, which will be introduced by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on April 16. This announcement follows a series of pre-budget announcements made in recent weeks, including measures to protect renters and improve access to affordable housing. Trudeau also highlighted the government’s commitment to building more homes, ensuring access to food for every child, investing in healthcare, and creating good jobs to help every generation succeed. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and other government officials have also made announcements in support of the AI sector and digital infrastructure.

Since 2016, the Canadian government has committed over $2 billion to support growth in the AI sector and digital infrastructure. The Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, established in 2017, has positioned Canada as a world leader in AI and has helped businesses become more competitive in the digital economy. The government’s press release emphasizes the importance of raising the bar in order to maintain Canada’s competitive edge, secure good-paying jobs, and provide job security for future generations. The commitment to investing in AI and digital infrastructure underscores the government’s focus on innovation, economic growth, and job creation for Canadians.

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