Powered by Purpose: Our community year in review
Element AI Element AI
October 7 5 min

Powered by Purpose: Our community year in review

A community is only as strong as the parts that make it whole. Over the past year, we’ve hosted community initiatives that were centered around diversity, inclusivity and inspiring members of different groups to share their voices and be heard. With emerging technologies like AI, we have a unique opportunity to lay the groundwork for future generations, and we couldn’t be more happy to be a part of the process. Keep reading to relive some of our favorite moments.

Feb 12, 2019: QueerTech MTL Meetup

When it comes to building new technology, representation is crucial. On this night in mid-February, QueerTech and the Montreal AI Ethics Institute joined forces in our office for a panel on the ethical, safe and inclusive development of AI. Attendees heard from three experts in the field of AI ethics, who discussed the big question on everyone’s mind: how do you build value-driven, ethical AI for everyone that is free from bias, inclusive and representative of the diversity of its users?

QueerTech and Element AI

March 21, 2019: Women in Tech event (hosted at MILA)

Fast forward to March. The Women in Tech series seeks to provide networking platforms for women in the tech space in Montreal. By beginning the dialogue and asking the tough questions, Women in Tech has created a safe and healthy environment that encourages women to not only choose technology but also remain in the field.

Women in tech and Element AI

March 26, 2019: École Marguerite-de-Lajemmerais

Enter the next generation of leaders. We open our doors for student visits over the course of the school year to give those interested in tech a better and more practical understanding of what Element AI does, which we hope will encourage those interested to pursue studies in science and technology.

This all-girls visit from students at École Marguerite-de-Lajemmerais in Montreal included interactive discussions with women in key roles at Element AI to show what it can mean to be a woman in tech.

École Marguerite-de-Lajemmerais at Element AI #1
École Marguerite-de-Lajemmerais at Element AI #2

May 24, 2019: NewCo & Element AI

What do you get when you cross fresh talent with future investors and rising companies? The NewCo Festival! In partnership with the City of Toronto and MaRS, our office hosted “Doors Open Tech”, an unparalleled opportunity to introduce talent and potential partners to companies around Toronto.

NewCo and Element AI #1
NewCo and Element AI #2

May 28, 2019: 5 à 7: Printemps Numérique

This international event in Montreal explored questions related to digital development, focusing on its economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts in various sectors of activity. With many tech leaders, engineers, researchers, investors, creators, developers, entrepreneurs and more on the guestlist, we opened our doors to facilitate making connections between AI industry players and actors in other sectors to create new opportunities for collaboration.

Printemps Numérique and Element AI
Printemps Numérique and Element AI #2
credit: Tora Chirila Photography © 2019, < MTL Connecte >

June 4, 2019: 5 à 7, AI4G Summer Lab Partnership

One part summer school, two parts meaningful connection. The AI For Good Summer Lab brings together female undergraduates from across Canada for a seven-week collaborative program to learn about technical concepts in AI, prototype development and design.

The purpose of the Lab is to explore opportunities for mentorship and training while also exposing students to career opportunities in the Canadian and international AI ecosystems. Participants have an opportunity to contribute their creativity and skills to developing innovative AI solutions to social problems.

AI4G Summer Lab at Element AI
AI4G Summer Lab at Element AI #2

June 18, 2019: AI Problem Solving Sessions - XPRIZE Edition

This session brought together hardware and deep tech enthusiasts to work on designing a mode 1 avatar system for the XPRIZE contest, a $10,000 award prize challenge created by Montreal's District 3 Innovation Centre. The goal of this initiative was to position the Montreal engineer ecosystem on the global scene and to help individuals and teams advance to the international ANA Avatar XPRIZE challenge, a multi-million dollar competition focused on building high-end, cutting-edge robotics to bring about "radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity" through incentivized competition.

AI Problem Solving Sessions - XPRIZE Edition

The objective of our community outreach initiative is to make real, tangible impact for the common interests of individuals and organizations in our ecosystem. That’s why we continuously seek to build meaningful relationships in areas where we can have a positive impact

Thank you to all the groups that trusted us to bring your events to life, and to the individuals who shared their truths over the course of the past year. It is because of all of you that Element AI received the corporate 2019 YMCA medal of peace award on Thursday, October 3rd here in Montréal.

Thank you also to the YMCA for celebrating the efforts we've taken to ensure that our community is more peaceful through our Community outreach and AI for Good activities.

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YMCA Medal of Peace Award announcement

Element AI received the corporate 2019 YMCA Medal of Peace Award on Thursday, October 3rd,2019, celebrating the efforts we've taken to ensure that our community is more peaceful through community outreach, inclusion, social initiatives, our involvement with government relations (GR), and impactful AI for Good activities.

AI for Good at Element AI

Our AI for Good initiative is part of our DNA within all our offices and operations at Element AI. We focus on sharing our deep expertise in machine learning to contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, human rights and climate action. Our current areas of focus include: natural language processing and computer vision applications for human rights and environmental monitoring and analysis.

Some of our most important work and publications include :

  • Quantifying village destruction in Darfur with crowdsourcing and transfer learning
  • A large-scale crowd-sourced analysis of abuse against women journalists and politicians on Twitter in collaboration with Amnesty International

Community Outreach

Our Community outreach initiative is centered around our strong belief in the impact of a collectivity. Our driving principle is to have real, tangible impact for the common interests of individuals and organizations in our ecosystem. We seek to build meaningful relationships in areas where we can have a positive impact like diversity, education, creativity and our local community. We want to demonstrate that a strong community is a real alternative to the mindset that only big tech giants can solve global problems.