AI News

Coffee Briefing Dec. 12- Lighthouse Labs’ new cyber upskilling program; Extended security updates for Windows 10; Canada’s AI code of conduct has new signatories; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada’s editorial team! 

Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

Lighthouse Labs launches new cyber upskilling program

Tech education company Lighthouse Labs has launched a new upskilling program for its Cyber Security Bootcamp in partnership with Upskill Canada, to help narrow the cyber security skills gap in Canada and provide cyber security training to 350 Canadian workers.

The program is also supported by funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) Upskilling for Industry Initiative, tasked to connect more than 15,000 Canadians with work opportunities.

A 12-week program, the Cyber Security Bootcamp will be targeted towards working professionals that have at least three years of relevant industry experience, the company said. Topics covered include server administration, network security, threat modelling and more. Students will also have access to on-demand mentorship from industry experts in addition to the support of Lighthouse Labs’ Student Success Coordinators and Career Services team.

This announcement comes as Upskill Canada and Deloitte jointly released a report highlighting the rapid growth of Canada’s cyber sector, with total employment in that sector going up by 12.2  per cent from the previous year to 139,000 in 2022.

However, the same report sheds light on the struggles that organizations face to recruit cybersecurity staff, as there is a shortage of highly skilled and experienced professionals, and an excess of junior-level talent.

“The Lighthouse Labs Cyber Security Bootcamp, powered by Upskill Canada, will enable businesses to take advantage of untapped talent, and incentivize professionals to learn the skills needed to transition to a job in cyber security,” said Jeremy Shaki, chief executive officer, Lighthouse Labs. “Through this national talent platform, we’re helping fast-growing companies access the talent they need while creating new pathways for workers to transition into high-demand roles.” 

Picsume wins $20,000 ScaleUP prize

Amherstburg, Ont.-based hiring platform Picsume has won a prize of C$20,000 for being top performer of the seventh cohort of ScaleUP, a four-month accelerator program launched by WEtech Alliance and powered by Libro Credit Union and Invest WindsorEssex, which provides one-on-one mentoring, cohort sessions, and access to provincial, national, and global networks of programs and mentors that is valued at over C$15,000.

Picsume pitched its growth over the course of the accelerator program in front of a group of investors and industry experts, and outperformed three other companies from the graduation class of the seventh cohort.

Picsume seeks to eliminate the need for a resume through the creation of live dynamic work profiles. Its proprietary technology also extracts current job postings to its platform, pairing candidates directly with employers through curated opportunities across Canada. It has also built out a software and application tracking system (ATS) to assist with recruiting and hiring for SMBs. 

The ScaleUp program has seen over 30 graduates, C$26 million in revenue earned, 147 new products and services brought to market, and 184 jobs created, to date.

Applications for the eighth cohort will open in summer 2024.

Montreal company introduces AI content detection model with 99.98 per cent accuracy rate

AI company Winston AI has introduced an AI detection model, codenamed “Luka”, capable of differentiating AI-generated synthetic content from human creations with, the company said, a 99.98 per cent accuracy rate.

The company backs the accuracy of its model with a human-validated dataset of 10,000 texts, including an equal mix of human and AI-generated content from prominent models like ChatGPT and Claude. Winston AI’s model then employs stringent probabilistic evaluation methods to provide an assessment on whether the content was either human or AI generated.

“Machines are now creating the vast majority of the content humans consume,” said John Renaud, president of Winston AI. “It has never been more imperative to be able to detect synthetic content. Our latest detection model, with its industry-leading accuracy rate, represents our unwavering commitment to integrity and transparency in AI detection. It’s not just about distinguishing content; it’s about preserving the authenticity of human expression.”

The complete study, revealing the AI detection accuracy score of 99.98 per cent and a human detection accuracy score of 99.5 per cent, can be found here.

Microsoft announces extended security updates for Windows 10

Microsoft has announced that, when Windows 10’s official support ends on Oct. 14, 2025, both businesses, and, for the first time, individuals, will be able to subscribe to receive extended security updates (ESUs) for the operating system. The subscriptions may be renewed annually for three years.

“The ESU program enables PCs to continue to receive Critical and Important security updates (as defined by the Microsoft Security Response Center) through an annual subscription service after support ends. More details, including pricing, will be provided at a later date,” Microsoft said in its lifecycle FAQ. “The ESU program provides individual consumers and organizations of all sizes with the option to extend the use of Windows 10 PCs past the end of support date in a more secure manner.”

More organizations sign Canada’s voluntary AI code of conduct

Canada’s new voluntary AI code of conduct has new signatories, including AltaML, BlueDot, CGI,, IBM, Protexxa Inc., Resemble AI and Scale AI.

IBM’s vice president and chief privacy and trust officer Christina Montgomery said, “We are pleased to join the Canadian government and other organizations in this effort to ensure the development and deployment of generative AI applications are used in smart and trusted ways.”

CGI’s president and chief operating officer, François Boulanger, said that being a signatory to the code of conduct reinforces the company plan to allocate C$1 billion over the next three years to continually expand its AI-based capabilities.

The code of conduct, announced in late September by Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, identifies measures pertaining to the responsible development and management of advanced generative AI systems. 

At the time, companies like Cohere, OpenText, Appen, Blackberry, and more signed to commit to the code of conduct.

Canada’s AI voluntary code of conduct seeks to provide a bridge between now and when Bill C-27, the government’s proposed AI and Data Act (AIDA), would be coming into force.

More to explore

European political agreement paves the way for AI law

The European Union has reached agreement on the world’s first comprehensive artificial intelligence law.

BlackBerry names new CEO, will split cybersecurity and IoT businesses

BlackBerry’s new leader is the former head of its cybersecurity business unit.

Canadian mid-sized firms pay an average $1.13 million to ransomware gangs

The average ransomware payment made by mid-sized Canadian companies this year was just over $1 million, according to a new survey.

Analytics Unleashed keynoter Scheibenreif examines how ‘we shape AI, AI shapes us’

In a presentation at IT World Canada’s Analytics Unleashed on Tuesday, Gartner Distinguished VP analyst Don Scheibenreif discussed what organizations need to do in order to handle the generative artificial intelligence (GenAi) juggernaut and artificial intelligence (AI) in general.

Two charged in murders of Softimage founder and his partner

Police in Dominica have charged two American men, Jonathan Scott Lehrer and Robert Snyder Jr., with the murders of Softimage founder Daniel Langlois and his partner, Dominique Marchand, whose bodies were found in a burned-out car on Friday.

New AI Alliance to advance open source AI convenes IBM, Meta, AMD, excludes Microsoft, Google, AWS, Nvidia

IBM and Meta have partnered to form a new group, the AI Alliance, bringing together more than 50 organizations to promote open source development and innovation in artificial intelligence (AI).

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