AI News

Coffee Briefing Jan. 30 – CGI and National Bank of Canada deepen partnership; OpenText’s new cloud editions release; Telus’ new AI report gathers a diversity of perspectives; 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 the last Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

CGI and National Bank of Canada renew partnership for 10 years


CGI and the National Bank of Canada have renewed their partnership for another 10 years, wherein CGI will continue to deliver a wide range of technology services to help the bank enhance its client experience and drive operational excellence.

“CGI is a trusted partner in the financial services sector,” said Julie Levesque, executive vice president technology and operations, National Bank of Canada. “We value CGI’s expertise and commitment to excellence that will play an important role in our ongoing efforts to meet the evolving needs of our clients and stay at the forefront of the financial services industry.”

This renewed agreement extends the 20-plus year partnership between the organizations, with CGI delivering banking insights, expertise, business consulting, project development, systems integration, and wealth and payment solutions.

“This agreement exemplifies the trust National Bank of Canada has in CGI’s capabilities and we look forward to bringing the best of CGI globally to help the Bank accelerate its transformation,” said Michael Godin, CGI senior vice president, Greater Montréal.

Montreal company enables access to Google’s Privacy Sandbox feature

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) data management platform Optable has launched an Early Access Program for its Privacy Sandbox activation capabilities.

Google made the Privacy Sandbox APIs available last summer, it said, to foster “greater privacy, transparency, choice, and control without undermining the business model of ad-supported websites.”

Optable says its Early Access Program allows advertisers to target audiences while preserving privacy. Publisher networks also benefit from the ability to launch privacy-safe advertising products, engaging user cohorts across owned, operated, and third-party media.

The API is also integrated with Optable’s data management solution, Optable DMP, and its data clean room suite, Optable Collaborate.

“Our customers require solutions that empower them to leverage both authenticated and anonymous user data in innovative, privacy-centric ways for audience-based planning, activation, and measurement,” said Bosko Milekic, chief product officer and co-founder, Optable. “This integration fundamentally strengthens our platform and will redefine what people expect to get out of data management and collaboration platforms in the era of privacy.”

OpenText Cloud Editions 24.1 release contains 3 Aviator upgrades

OpenText recently released Cloud Editions 24.1, which contains what the company described as the “latest OpenText Aviator innovations.”

These include:

OpenText Content Aviator, which is now available on OpenText Extended ECM, integrating conversational search, summarization, and translation within content management. The update allows an organization to leverage generative AI technology to help accelerate content discovery, improving employee efficiency and productivity.

OpenText IT Operations Aviator on its software as a service (SaaS) offering, service management automation X (SMAX), efficiently resolves common IT service requests, thus minimizing the need for support staff and reducing tier-one business costs. Learn more about the early adopter program here.

OpenText Thrust Studio is now available through an early access program. These new tools enable developers to design, build, and deploy applications utilizing OpenText Thrust APIs more seamlessly with enhanced workflows, permissions, and decision models.

“The latest Cloud Editions launch isn’t just about enhancing our offerings or providing a solution,” said Mark Barrenechea, chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) at OpenText. “It is about enabling a paradigm shift in how businesses operate, how industries evolve, and how we collectively engage with technology in this era of rapid transformation.

“Leveraging AI for impactful results depends on reliable data – without it, even the most skilled data scientists will struggle.”

90 per cent of Canadians want AI development to be guided by ethical principles: Telus report

Telus has released a new report highlighting Canadians’ support for AI regulation, as well as the importance of including diverse voices in the development of AI.

The report surveyed 5,000 Canadians, including Indigenous Peoples, racialized groups, the LGBTQ2S+ community, and older and new Canadians, as well as people with physical disabilities.

Over 90 per cent of respondents agreed that AI development should be guided by ethical principles, with almost half believing that AI governance should include community consultation to ensure diverse perspectives. 

In fact, 42 per cent of respondents who self-identified as part of a racialized group feel that AI is biased against them and their peers. Sixty-one per cent of respondents identifying as LGBTQ2S+ fear that AI may be used against certain people and communities.

Many respondents also expressed concerns about the risks of job losses and deepfakes, biases in data, copyright infringement, and privacy.

As a result, 78 per cent of respondents believe that AI usage and development should be regulated in Canada. The majority of respondents believe that this regulation should be government-led, with 2 in 3 suggesting that input is needed from professionals in data ethics, the law, and academia.

Telus emphasized the need for active participation and input of all Canadians.

“This report is our rallying cry for organizations to get involved by building useful resources to educate the public on how they are considering ethics and human impacts throughout the development of this incredibly powerful innovation, while being inclusive in decision-making around all aspects of AI’s development,” said Pam Snively, chief data and trust officer at Telus.

Concordia University of Edmonton and Robogarden present new upskilling programs


Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE) and online learning platform RoboGarden have announced the availability of new cohorts for their digital workforce career upskilling and transition programs.

CUE’s Machine Learning and AI Development and Full Stack Development bootcamps, powered by RoboGarden, are 100 per cent online and are supported with scheduled instructor and teaching assistant hours. Students get self-paced study hours and content delivery strategies built for engagement and skill acquisition. Career and freelancer income generation preparation content are also delivered throughout the program, and focused on in the final module.

“Concordia University of Edmonton was one of our first Canadian post-secondary institution partners and we are delighted the University continues to collaborate with RoboGarden in the delivery of digital workforce career upskilling and re-skilling programs,” said RoboGarden president and co-founder Mohamed Elhabiby. “We know Concordia University of Edmonton alumni and learning community members are highly suitable to upskill for the Canadian digital workforce; it is good news that RoboGarden-powered lower-cost programs can continue to be offered by the institution they connect with.”

More to explore

Failure to launch: Cybersecurity pros discuss how to solve the resource crisis

As part of IT World Canada’s partnership with the Canadian Cybersecurity Network, we are featuring a replay of a recent panel discussion featuring cybersecurity professionals discussing the issues that we face in gaining and retaining talent.

FTC investigates AI oligopolies; calls on Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon to disclose investments in startups

Yesterday, following a half day summit hosted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that convened experts to examine the key players and the litany of consumer protection issues arising from the mushrooming AI market, the agency announced that it is investigating tech goliaths’ investments in artificial intelligence startups.

Why Canadian provinces, territories need to regulate AI

The use of artificial intelligence in Canada’s federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments has to be regulated as much as its use in the private sector, a conference on AI in the public sector has been told.

Quebec cybersecurity institute gets $1.3 million grant from Google

Google’s philanthropic arm is giving a $1.3 million grant to a Quebec agency for cybersecurity research.

Bell and Québecor spar over MVNO access service agreements

Bell has accused Québecor of refusing to enter into necessary mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) access agreements.

More work needed to blunt public’s AI privacy concerns: Report

Organizations aren’t making much progress in convincing the public their data is being used responsibly in artificial intelligence applications, a new survey suggests.

Channel Bytes January 26, 2024 – Microsoft hires execs to run nuclear program; Aptum tech partnership with Avant; HiddenLayer launches partner program; 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 Jan.30- Google’s Bard may be reading your email; Siri to get an AI makeover? The demise of the floppy disk

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

Cyber Security Today, Jan. 29, 2024 – SolarWinds demands fraud allegation be dropped, a Canadian sentenced for ransomware attacks, and more


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