Customized AI training to improve company productivity
Montreal, Quebec - November 6, 2020
Canada holds an enviable position on the global stage for the development of artificial intelligence (AI), yet for many companies, AI remains a mystery.
While the technology is suited to all industries, be it for organizations large or small that want to improve decision-making and boost workforce performance and productivity, not all companies are familiar with the concrete applications and advantages of this new technology.
That’s why Scale AI, the Canadian supercluster specializing in AI, has launched an extensive program to fund up to 80% of the costs of training projects tailored to Canadian companies. The aim is to support companies looking to improve their knowledge and skills in this area. The program seeks to ensure that companies can adopt — and most importantly, benefit from — new tools in artificial intelligence.
For Montrium, which has worked in the life sciences industry for 15 years, the training program came at the perfect time. As a company that supports pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies specializing in clinical studies, it wanted to be one step ahead. By harnessing the potential of AI to inject innovation into its service offering and leverage the enormous amount of data from clinical trials, the company aims to improve the efficiency of its processes.
“Life sciences are constantly investing in R&D; however, this industry is still quite conservative in its use of technology and big data. Respect for data integrity and traceability is paramount, but it can be seen as an obstacle in the use of this data,” says Paul Fenton, President and CEO of Montrium.
“Respect for data integrity and traceability is paramount, but it can be seen as an obstacle in the use of this data”
— Paul Fenton, President and CEO of Montrium
“The training was tailored to our specific needs, and at the same time, it allowed our teams to get comfortable with AI,” adds Mr. Fenton. “We were really able to capitalize on the benefits of it.”
For Ericsson and its thousands of experts who focus on researching and developing products and services for its North American customers, legacy software and standard operating systems do not offer the same potential as the newer technologies available today.
“Our goal was to learn how to do what we do in a better way, in order to be more productive. We wanted to improve our service offering,” says Prasad Garigipati, Head of Global AI Accelerator, Montreal. “For us, that meant AI training that would introduce machine-learning techniques into every aspect of our work, both internally and for the solutions we provide to our clients. ”
Advice to managers before starting training
“Managers should begin the training with an open mind, rather than thinking they already have the whole project planned out in their head,” says Mr. Fenton. They will be pleasantly surprised by the many possibilities AI offers and the constructive discussions that emerge from the training. ”
“For us, customized training has allowed us to collaborate as a team on concrete projects directly related to our industry”
— Prasad Garigipati, Head of Global AI Accelerator, Montreal
“With this we were able to formulate a plan by identifying the steps that will enable us to move forward together. This is particularly vital for a company that does not necessarily have the technical resources in-house to do so.”
Training tailored to maximize the benefits of AI
For both companies, undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of customized training has been the opportunity to discuss with the trainers beforehand, so that the latter understand the environments in which the companies operate and the directions they wish to take.
For Ericsson, these discussions also helped to demystify AI. The trainers prompted the company to ask themselves several questions, including: What kind of data do we have? What kind of data analysis do we need? What kind of information would help us move forward?
“My takeaway from the customized training is that it has allowed our already highly technical teams to expand their knowledge in order to improve our processes — but above all, thanks to the interaction with the trainers which greatly facilitated the learning process, it has enabled us to be able to work together on concrete AI-integration projects and move forward as a team,” says Garigipati.
“Scale AI’s customized training was definitely an accelerator for the integration of AI into the company. It’s an entirely worthwhile investment,” states Fenton.