Member biographies

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Foteini Agrafioti

Co-Chair of the Advisory Council on AI
Chief Science Officer, Royal Bank of Canada and Head, Borealis AI

Foteini Agrafioti is the Chief Science Officer at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Head of Borealis AI, RBC's Research Institute in artificial intelligence. She is responsible for RBC's intellectual property portfolio in the fields of AI and machine learning. She earned a Master's degree in Applied Science in 2007, followed by a doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2011. Foteini founded and served as Chief Technology Officer at Nymi, a biometrics security company and maker of the Nymi wristband. She is an inventor of HeartID, the first biometric technology to authenticate users based on their unique cardiac rhythms, and serves on the editorial review boards of several scientific journals. Foteini was named the University of Toronto's "Inventor of the Year" in 2012 and one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 in 2017.

Foteini Agrafioti

Yoshua Bengio

Co-Chair of the Advisory Council on AI
Scientific Director, MILA and Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms and Professor, Université De Montréal

Recognized as one of the world's leading experts in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in deep learning, Yoshua Bengio studied in Montreal, earned his Ph.D. in computer science from McGill University in 1991, and post-doctoral studies at MIT. Since 1993, he has been a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research at the Université de Montréal, and he holds the Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms. He is Scientific Director of the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), as well as the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, the world's largest deep learning academic research group. An Officer of the Order of Canada, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the recipient of the Marie-Victorin Prize in 2017, and was named Radio‑Canada's Scientist of the Year for 2017. In 2018, he was awarded the 50th anniversary medal of Quebec's Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie and in 2019, he was awarded the Association for Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award. Yoshua is one of the world's most cited computer scientists, thanks to his three books and more than 500 publications. His h-index stands at 128, with more than 141,000 Google Scholar citations. His ambition is to understand the principles that lead to intelligence through learning, as well as promote the development of AI for the benefit of all.

Yoshua Bengio

Pierre Boivin

President and CEO, Claridge and Co-Chair, Quebec Artificial Intelligence Cluster Steering Committee

Pierre Boivin is the President and CEO of Claridge, a private investment firm that represents the interests of the Stephen Bronfman family. He leads a team of professionals in developing a diversified portfolio of private, public market and real estate investments. In addition to being a board member of Claridge, Pierre also sits on the boards of the National Bank of Canada, Canadian Tire, The CH Group and is chairman of the board of Solotech. He is also chairman of the board of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), Co-Chair of the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Cluster Steering Committee and a member of the Canadian Advisory Council on AI, and of the board of the Quartier de l'innovation de Montréal. Pierre is the founder and chairman of the board of the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation and he contributes to fostering entrepreneurship at the École d'entrepreneurship de Beauce and the Institute of Leadership in Management. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Université de Montréal and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. He was named "most socially committed top executive" by Les Affaires in 2015 and was appointed a knight of l'Ordre national du Québec in 2017.

Pierre Boivin

Natalie Cartwright

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, FINN.AI

Natalie Cartwright is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Finn.AI, a financial technology company that assists banks and credit unions in developing AI-powered personal banking assistants. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Pathology from McGill University, a Master of Public Health from Lund University in Sweden, and a Master of Business Administration from IE Business School in Spain. Prior to founding Finn AI, Natalie worked at the Global Fund in Geneva where she served as Program Officer and Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director. In 2014, she brought her training and experience together to create Finn.AI, an artificial-intelligence banking interface for day-to-day transactions, budgeting and saving, customer support, and other financial business functions.

Natalie Cartwright

Marc-Antoine Dilhac

Canada Research Chair in Public Ethics and Political Theory and Associate Professor, Université de Montréal

Marc-Antoine Dilhac holds a PhD from the Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is associate professor of ethics and political philosophy at the Université de Montréal and holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Ethics and Political Theory. Since 2013, he has been Director of Ethics and Politics at the Centre de recherche en éthique (Center for Ethics, Montréal). His research interests include theories of democracy (toleration, political deliberation, populism, governance, transparency), challenges of social justice (redistribution and equality of opportunity, civic education), and applied ethics. His research now focuses on issues of governance and institutional design, more specifically on how new technologies are changing public relationships and political structures, and on the ethical and social impacts of AI. He initiated the project of the Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of AI, and chairs its scientific board.

Marc-Antoine Dilhac

Eli Fathi

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MindBridge Analytics Inc.

Eli Fathi is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MindBridge Analytics Inc., which introduced the world's first auditing tool based upon artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies — the Ai Auditor — to uncover errors in financial data. He attended Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa where he earned a master's degree in Engineering. Eli has been a technology entrepreneur for over 30 years, having founded or co-founded numerous technology companies including MindBridge Analytics and Fluidware Corp. He currently sits on the Boards of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Start-Up Canada, and C-Com, a company that develops satellite-based technologies.

Eli Fathi

Geoffrey Hinton

Chief Scientific Advisor, Vector Institute and Vice President and Engineering Fellow, Google

Geoffrey Hinton designs machine learning algorithms. His aim is to discover neural network learning procedures that are efficient at finding complex structure in large, high-dimensional datasets. His research group at the University of Toronto made major breakthroughs in deep learning that revolutionized speech recognition and object classification. He is now a Google Engineering Fellow and manages the Toronto branch of the Google Brain Team. Geoffreyis a fellow of the Royal Society and his awards include the NSERC Herzberg Gold medal, the IEEE James Clerk Maxwell Gold medal, the BBVA award for Information and Communication technology, the Killam prize for Engineering, the Rumelhart prize, the IJCAI Research Excellence Award and the Association for Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award.

Geoffrey Hinton

Jordan Kyriakidis

Co-Founder and CEO, QRA Corp

Jordan Kyriakidis is the Co-Founder and CEO of QRA Corp, an enterprise software company devoted to the verification of autonomous systems. Backed by $10M in foreign and domestic investment, QRA's technology incorporates both traditional and non-traditional forms of AI, and is used by Fortune 500 companies in the automotive, aerospace, energy, and medical device industries. Prior to QRA, and since 2002, Jordan was a Professor and head of the Quantum Theory Group at Dalhousie University. He holds a PhD, summa cum laude, in Theoretical Physics from the University of Basel, Switzerland.

Jordan Kyriakidis

AJung Moon

Co-Founder and Director, Open Roboethics Institute and Co-Founder, CEO and Technology Analyst, Generation R Consulting Inc.

AJung Moon is Co-Founder, CEO, and Technology Analyst of Generation R Consulting Inc., a company that assists organizations in making informed design and policy decisions to innovate with advanced technologies without compromising the organization's values. She is also currently serving as Senior Advisor for the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. She became a Vanier Scholar in 2013 and received her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in the design of human-inspired interactive robot behaviours. As a roboticist with experience in both roboethics and human-robot interaction, AJung has been heavily involved in national and international discussions on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. She is a founder and Director of Open Roboethics Institute — a Canadian think tank specializing in roboethics issues — and serves on the Board of Advisor for Ada-AI, and the Executive Committee of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems.

AJung Moon

Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada

Mona Nemer is Canada's Chief Science Advisor. Her mandate is to provide advice to the Prime Minister, Minister of Science and other ministers on science issues. Before becoming the Chief Science Advisor, Mona was Professor and Vice-President, Research, at the University of Ottawa. Her research focused on the heart, and has contributed to the development of diagnostic tests for heart failure and the genetics of cardiac birth defects. Mona has served on several national and international advisory committees and executive boards, and is the recipient of many honours. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec and a Knight of the French Republic's Ordre national du Mérite. Mona holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Prior to working at the University of Ottawa, she was a Professor of Pharmacology at the Université de Montréal and directed the Cardiac Genetics Unit at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.

Mona Nemer

Teresa Scassa

Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy and Professor, University of Ottawa

Teresa Scassa is a Professor at the University of Ottawa's Law Faculty where her research explores issues of data ownership and control. She is also a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation's (CIGI) International Law Research Program and the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy. She holds degrees in civil and common law from McGill University as well as a master's degree and doctorate in Law from the University of Michigan. Teresa began her academic career at Dalhousie Law School where she taught courses including Intellectual Property and Law and Technology. At CIGI, her research focuses on the legal challenges associated with data ownership, the need for a national data strategy in a data-driven economy, as well as the governance of smart cities data and its implications for innovation, transparency, accountability, sovereignty and privacy
Teresa Scassa

Elissa Strome

Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, CIFAR

Elissa Strome is the Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy at CIFAR where she works with research leaders across the country to implement Canada's national research strategy in AI. She completed her doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in 2006. Following a post-doc at Lund University, in Sweden, she decided to pursue a career in research strategy, policy and leadership. In 2008, she joined the University of Toronto's Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation and was Director of Strategic Initiatives from 2011 to 2015. From 2015 to 2017, Elissa was Executive Director of the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), leading the 17-member industry-academic consortium through a major period of growth and expansion, and establishing SOSCIP as Ontario's leading platform for collaborative research and development in data science and advanced computing.

Elissa Strome

Richard S. Sutton

Chief Scientific Advisor, Amii and Distinguished Research Scientist, DeepMind

Richard S. Sutton is a leading researcher in the field of modern computational reinforcement learning. Currently, Richard is a distinguished research scientist at DeepMind, a London-based AI company founded in 2010, and a professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. He received a doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1984 preceded by a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Stanford University in 1978. Before joining the University of Alberta in 2003, Richard worked in industry at AT&T and GTE Labs, and in academia at the University of Massachusetts. At the University of Alberta, he directs the Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and is the Chief Scientific Advisor of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii). His research interests center on the learning problems facing a decision-maker interacting with its environment.

Richard S. Sutton

Geneviève Tanguay

Vice-President of Emerging Technologies, National Research Council of Canada

Geneviève Tanguay serves as Vice-President, Emerging Technologies at the National Research Council of Canada, where she oversees the Measurement Science and Standards Research Centre. She holds a doctorate in Parasitology from McGill University and has worked for Universities Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Centre Québécois de valorisation des biotechnologies (CQVB), where she established a major network of businesses and research institutions to promote technology and innovation transfer in the biotechnology sector. From 2007 to 2011, Geneviève held the position of Assistant Deputy Minister for research, innovation and science, and society with the government of Quebec. As part of her current remit, she serves as the executive responsible for the Nanotechnology Research Centre, in addition to being responsible for the Digital Technologies and Advanced Electronics and Photonics Research Centres.

Geneviève Tanguay

Ian Kerr (May - August 2019)

Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology and Professor, University of Ottawa

Ian Kerr was a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law, and Technology at the University of Ottawa. His research focused on legal and ethical issues surrounding the merge of human and machines including on AI decision making, military robots, and driverless cars. His work on emerging technologies contributed towards the development of AI and robotics law and policy as a new field of study. Ian was frequently consulted by governments, NGOs, and international organizations including the UN, World Economic Forum and the Canadian government. He obtained his law degree and a PhD from the University of Western Ontario.

Ian Kerr
Date modified: