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AltaML Announces Collaboration With Microsoft Canada, University Of Waterloo And Industry To Deliver Applied Artificial Intelligence Work Integrated Learning Through The WE Accelerate Program

AltaML, a leading applied AI studio, is excited to announce a collaboration with Microsoft Canada and the University of Waterloo to deliver work- integrated learning experiences for students as a part of the Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate program. As a part of the 10-week experience, AltaML is leading the six-week project-based modules. AltaML is equally excited to announce that it is working with Rogers Sports & Media, Intuit, and Health Canada to provide projects and mentorship to students as a core element of the work-integrated learning experience.

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AltaML is built around outstanding AI talent emerging from Canada’s post-secondary institutions and, together with its partners, is proud to contribute to talent development through the innovative WE Accelerate program to help build the Canadian digital economy and to train the next generation of AI leaders.

WE Accelerate is a work term option for undergraduate co-op students across disciplines entering their first work term, providing access to high quality skill development content created by industry leaders across six streams. The Microsoft Azure Artificial Intelligence (AI) stream prepares students with industry certifications as well as project-based learning for over 250 students and AltaML will lead and mentor 80 students through industry relevant projects as they learn how to apply their newly acquired cloud and AI skills to real-world AI scenarios.

Students will be mentored by AltaML personnel and will have the opportunity to select one of four industry projects: hockey analytics using computer vision techniques on Sportsnet highlights, with Rogers Sports & Media; building a chatbot using conversational AI and natural language processing (NLP), with Intuit; and exploring digital public forums to measure sentiment using NLP, with Health Canada. Students will work in teams of 5.

In-demand skills to be developed comprise digital skills–such as conducting exploratory data analysis, applying machine learning techniques to train, evaluate and deploy models that solve business problems, and building data visualization models and dashboards–as well as power skills–such as working in collaborative team-based settings with industry partners, scrum/agile methodologies, and learning how to effectively communicate technical information in a business environment.

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“We’re excited that AltaML is collaborating with the University of Waterloo as part of the WE Accelerate program,” said Norah McRae, Associate Provost of Co-operative and Experiential Education. “Their commitment to provide interesting, real-world problems is important to our first work term students. It gives students the opportunity to apply the skills they’re learning from the Microsoft Azure AI fundamentals stream and to improve their employability.”

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“Collaboration is at the heart of what we do at AltaML, and we are thrilled to partner with the University of Waterloo, renowned for its experiential learning and its STEM programs, to mentor student teams as they tackle real world AI use cases,” said Nicole Janssen, Co-Founder of AltaML. “Moreover we are thrilled to collaborate with Microsoft, the lead industry partner on the AI stream, as well as a veritable dream team of community-minded partners–Rogers Sports & Media, Intuit Canada, and Health Canada–that have committed use cases, datasets, and meeting opportunities for the students.”

“Microsoft is committed to empowering students to thrive in the digital future by providing them with access to in demand skills,” said Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada.   ”The WE Accelerate stream provides University of Waterloo students with the opportunity to earn their first Microsoft certification in Azure cloud and AI. As a Microsoft gold partner AltaML is a key member of our collaboration and is instrumental in helping students to apply their learnings to real data and use cases provided by industry partners.”

“Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing our world at a rapid pace, and we have an important role in helping Canada’s emerging AI leaders navigate it,” said David Marquis, Vice President & Canada Country Manager, Intuit. “We’re excited to partner with AltaML and equip future generations with the tools, skills and knowledge to continue turning obstacles into opportunities powered by technology. As an investor in AI for over 15 years, Intuit understands the immeasurable value AI has in delivering innovative solutions at scale, and unlocking new strategies that benefit our customers.”

“Collaboration and creativity are at the heart of innovation, so it is our pleasure to partner with AltaML and the University of Waterloo through the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence stream of the WE Accelerate program,” said Pierre Fortin, VP, Media Technology and Innovation, Rogers Sports & Media. We recognize our responsibility to help build Canada’s next generation of digital leaders, and we can’t wait to see what real-world technology solutions they develop using Sportsnet’s highlight packs.”

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