AI News

Coffee Briefing Dec. 19 – Toronto group warns of the impact of AI on the music industry; CGI and Google Cloud partner on sustainability; Rogers brings cellular coverage to Highway 16, BC; 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.

This is the final Coffee Briefing of 2023. Have a safe and joyous holiday season!

See you in 2024.

Toronto group urges the government of Canada to ensure AI does not replace music creators

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), along with a coalition of music organizations, wrote a letter to the government of Canada containing recommendations that aim to ensure AI does not replace human creativity and culture. 

The letter outlined three specific concerns about the impact of AI on the music industry:

  1. pre-existing creative works being exploited by AI models without consent from or compensation for rights holders;
  2. the risk AI systems pose to the livelihood of human creators; and
  3. the risk of AI systems being used to imitate creators’ voices and likeness without their knowledge or consent.

SOCAN and the other signatories recommend:

  1. Ensure human expression is protected via copyright rights
  2. Grant no new copyright exceptions for use of creators’ works without permission to develop AI models
  3. AI developers must be transparent about their use of specific works for AI model training
  4. Canadians should know whether they are listening to music created by a human or AI; explicit content labels should be adopted
  5. AI developers must obtain permission from creators for the use of their intellectual property or personality traits like their voices

“We believe the principles outlined in our letter to Minister St-Onge and Minister Champagne set the foundation for an effective process for AI that will protect music creators by respecting the value of their extraordinary work. We hope our efforts will be considered to ensure the AI model can continue to evolve and grow responsibly,” said Jennifer Brown, SOCAN chief executive.

SOCAN is also participating in the open consultation on the implications of generative AI and copyright, held by Canadian Heritage and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, which ends on Jan. 15, 2024.

Kitchener company launches AI-powered tool to understand customer behaviour

Technology and innovation consultancy Meta IT has launched a new tool designed to decipher customer behaviours using artificial intelligence (AI).

Specifically, the tool personalizes product journeys by delving into each customer’s life stage and preferences. 

In addition to historical customer transactional data, the tool uses external market databases to enrich data. Predictive recommendations are generated based on past patterns in the database, and enable continuous learning and adjustment as the market, products, and customers’ profiles change.

Meta IT says that the new tool will help boost order conversions by up to 30 per cent through personalized offerings, triple sales potential with new customers, achieve an impressive 94 per cent accuracy in production forecasting and rupture prevention, and culminate in a 20 per cent increase in companies’ overall revenue.

“This transformative solution not only optimizes production processes, but also catapults businesses into a realm of heightened customer understanding and engagement, fostering sustained growth and prosperity,” said Marcos Machado, executive director at Meta IT. “With this technology, we reaffirm our commitment to working with a human purpose, facilitating processes and strategies for companies, and enhancing customer experiences.”

CGI and Google Cloud partner to advance sustainability

CGI has partnered with Google Cloud to deliver the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Sustainability Planet Platform, a data-driven source for countries to identify sustainability challenges such as air pollution, rising temperatures, and flooding.

We are proud of this collaboration with CGI to create the Sustainability Planet Platform, UNIDO’s first fully comprehensive data set, showcasing all its sustainability efforts and interventions across every territory,” said Teddra Burgess, director civilian sales, Google Cloud Public Sector.  “We look forward to working with CGI to continue to deliver sustainability outputs using cutting-edge technology and comprehensive planet data to enable further achievements towards global sustainability development goals.”

The Sustainability Planet Platform integrates data from multiple sources, including temperature data and other data from satellites such as Landsat, which is used in agriculture; land use and water resources data from CGI’s Sustainability Exploration and Environmental Data Science (SEEDS) program; data from Google Cloud’s Earth Engine; and UNIDO’s data on its global projects.

UNIDO member states will be able to assess progress with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not only at the country level, but also in relation to specific sectors such as steel and concrete.

Rogers provides wireless coverage on Highway 16 in British Columbia

Rogers has announced that it has turned on three new cellular towers along British Columbia’s (BC) Highway 16, providing 50 kilometres of 911 access for all travellers, and 5G wireless coverage for its customers.

One new tower at Seeley Lake Park is providing 13 kilometres of new wireless coverage and two new towers are providing 37 kilometres of new coverage between Seven Sisters Mountain and Pacific. Once all the project’s towers are completed, Rogers will provide 252 kilometres of new cellular coverage along the entire 720-kilometre corridor.

The new towers are part of an ongoing wireless service expansion project, in partnership with the government of Canada and the province of BC, to improve safety and remove wireless coverage gaps along the section of highway known as the Highway of Tears. This corridor between Prince Rupert and Prince George also honours the memory of the many Indigenous women and girls who have disappeared or have been found murdered along the route.

“These new cellular towers are lifelines to all of us who travel along Highway 16 regularly, and we are hopeful they will help prevent future tragedies,” said Mary Teegee, a Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) activist. “It has been deeply rewarding watching this project unfold, and we look forward to celebrating its completion and benefiting from the social and economic advantages it provides.”

RoboGarden and Ontario Tech University come together to deliver new AI-supported developer program


Cloud-based teaching platform RoboGarden has announced that it has joined forces with Ontario Tech University to offer an AI-supported Full Stack Developer Bootcamp and make it accessible to the global learning community.

The Full Stack Developer Bootcamp teaches learners how to build and architect an application, starting from conceptualization through to design, development, and launch, while also considering various platforms and usability requirements.

The program also leverages proprietary AI-supported features, helping students progress faster and more effectively in their skill development. Plus, students are taught how to pitch, present, and sell their solutions in a professional programming environment.

“We emphasize not just learning, but mastering competencies essential for the digital age. Our advanced training platform and programs are meticulously designed to ensure students acquire vital skills,” said Mohamed Elhabiby, president, RoboGarden. “This approach is not just about individual success; it’s about cultivating a community of skilled innovators. Our graduates are set to propel the economy forward and solidify Ontario’s reputation as a hub of exceptional tech talent.”

Prospective students can learn more and enroll in the next Full Stack Development Bootcamp cohort until Feb. 2, 2024 at Ontario Tech Continuous Learning’s program information and registration page.

More to explore

Multisensory art exhibit at the Aga Khan Museum taps into AI, VR

It is called Night in the Garden of Love, is produced in partnership with Weils, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Brussels, and it combines traditional art with an obvious technology bent that, in the words of its creator, “transports visitors into new and imaginary worlds.”

Southern Ontario school board acknowledges ‘cyber incident’

One of the biggest public school boards in Southern Ontario has publicly acknowledged a cyber attack, over a month after it was detected.

Dental benefits group notifying almost 7 million Americans of MOVEit data theft

Almost 7 million U.S. residents are being notified by a dental benefits provider that their personal information was stolen in one of the biggest single attacks involving the MOVEit file transfer application.

Big budgets, laggard IT systems: Government officials questioned at House of Commons committee

The Benefit Delivery Modernization (BDM) program, the largest IT transformation initiative ever undertaken by the Government of Canada, was estimated to cost $1.75 billion when it launched in 2017.

Rogers and Lynk complete satellite-to-mobile phone call, 2024 launch anticipated

Rogers and Lynk Global have announced that they have completed Canada’s first successful satellite-to-mobile phone call, using Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphones.

BlackBerry names new CEO, will split cybersecurity and IoT businesses

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

Channel Bytes December 15, 2023 – RackWare launches channel program; MSP360 adds end-user restores to Managed Backup; Intel launches Core Ultra with NPU; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending Weekend Edition, December 16, 2023 – Our guest today is Arik Kalininsky, CEO of Dalikoo

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

Cyber Security Today, Dec. 18, 2023 – Customer contact info stolen from MongoDB, more stringent American cyber attack reporting rules start today, and more

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

If you live in Québec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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