Uber’s newest recruit, Raquel Urtasun (Photo: Erica Edwards, Uber Canada)

Uber Technologies Inc. is establishing an artificial intelligence (AI) research group in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District, attracted by the region’s wealth of AI talent. The company has already recruited a top expert to head up the group, University of Toronto associate professor Raquel Urtasun, a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning and Computer Vision. The San Francisco-based company is also donating $5 million over several years to the recently established Vector Institute, which is receiving up to $100 million in government funding as part of an effort to produce, attract and retain top talent. AI is considered a strong contender to receive supercluster funding as part of a $950-million federal competition.

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