CANARIE: Automation Nation

Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

This year, the CANARIE National Summit was held in Ottawa on October 2 and 3.

CANARIE, a federally funded organization, provides the University of Ottawa with high-speed data connections with other research institutes located in Canada and abroad. Their general mission is the advancement of Canada’s knowledge and innovation structure. As such, they have almost implemented coast-to-coast fibre and are also expanding eduroam (e.g., our Wi-Fi network).

The theme for this year’s summit was “Automation Nation”. More specifically, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR).

In recent years, AI has seen an exponential growth and is considered the next technological wave after PCs, the internet, and mobile. Virtual assistants such as Siri, Google Now, and Alexa can now interact with you almost naturally and automatically perform actions on your behalf. Chatbots are now starting to man the helpdesk services.

How can our University leverage this technology to improve student experience? Chatbots can help answer questions 24/7. An AR-powered campus guide could be offered or could be used for a better classroom experience. It is possible to train an AI to monitor student performance and catch those at risk of falling behind before it happens. It might even be possible to have AI-powered tutors to teach students.

Artificial intelligence system sketch


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