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Quebec’s AI development and impact among world’s best: Studies show

This study also shows that Quebec would benefit from making changes to its operating environment (e.g. speed of visa processing for skilled workers) and infrastructure.

March 9, 2022   by CM Staff

MONTREAL — Quebec ranks 7th among the world’s top nations in the field of AI, a technology that is already having a marked impact on Quebec’s economy and has the potential to become one of the foundations of Quebec’s future prosperity.

This is what is revealed by two studies conducted in the fall of 2021 by Tortoise Media and the Montreal office of consulting firm PwC Canada on behalf of Forum IA Québec, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Quebec’s AI ecosystem.

“We now have concrete proof, thanks to the work of Tortoise and PwC Canada, that the significant efforts undertaken by governments and the private sector to make Quebec a global powerhouse in AI have paid off. But we still have a long way to go. This is both a recognition of the work done and an encouragement to continue our efforts to ensure we can use AI as a lever for economic and social development.” said Marie-Paule Jeansonne, CEO of Forum IA Québec

Tortoise Global AI Index : Quebec among the “top 10” best performing nations in the field of AI

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With its 8 million inhabitants, Quebec ranks 7th among the world’s top AI nations, a ranking composed of 143 indicators established by Tortoise, a global expert in the field. Quebec is ahead of France and Israel, and right behind South Korea and Germany, despite its smaller demographic weight.

An analysis of the criteria used by Tortoise shows that Quebec is particularly strong in the following areas:

  • Basic and applied research: 5th in the world
  • Government AI strategy: 6th in the world
  • Creation and financing of AI companies: 7th in the world

This study also shows that Quebec would benefit from making changes to its operating environment (e.g. speed of visa processing for skilled workers) and infrastructure (e.g. the number of supercomputers available to researchers) to become more competitive in AI.

“This is the first time we examine how a subnational entity like Québec is positioned in our index, said Alexandra Mousavizadeh, a partner at Tortoise Media. We certainly were surprised to see that Québec is punching way above its demographic weight in many categories. This goes to show that the grit and inventiveness of small states could certainly help them to compete with bigger players and, in the end, to maximize the positive economic and societal impacts derived from the production and use of AI.”