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York Region Artificial Intelligence Companies Center Stage at the 2018 Toronto Tech Summit


For many the acronym “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) brings immediate thoughts of Terminator or super robots taking over the world. However, as the 2018 Toronto Tech Summithosted at the MaRS Discovery District in Downtown Toronto – highlighted, the pursuit of AI integration threaded into “mundane” business operations such as customer service support, personnel assistants, human resources, and e-commerce activities is already having a huge impact and dramatically reshaping how these sectors engage with their customers.

The Tech Summit brought together an audience of over 500 technology professionals and enthusiasts to explore the latest trends in artificial intelligence in a variety of industries including the future of autonomous vehicles.

Full Room at TO Tech Summit

York Link was one of the lead sponsors at this year’s summit. The team was out in full force answering questions from participants about the scale of York Region’s technology ecosystem and about career opportunities that exist within many of its leading tech companies. Specifically, the highway 404 /407 business area has thousands of global tech firms and Canadian scale ups developing disruptive technologies in areas of autonomous vehicles, AI, IoT, business applications, mobile applications and cloud computing.

Companies such as IBM, GM Canada (the Technical Centre in Markham is the largest automotive innovation hub in Canada), AMD, Qualcomm, Huawei, Wysdom.AI, Mobile Live, Daisy Intelligence, Bluewrist Technologies, and Indus.ai are just a sample of top global and Canadian scale-ups leading the charge with AI in their respective sectors in York Region.

The event was organized by U.S. (Silicon Valley) HQ’d Genesys Technologies, a leader in customer experience solutions for some of the biggest global brands and powers more than 25 billion of the world’s best customer experiences each year. A portion of their next generation technology development is done at their Canadian R&D Centre in Markham, York Region. It’s home to over 150 employees doing everything from software engineering and development, to sales, to marketing, and more.

Toronto Tech Summit Panel Robert Unterman Answers Questions at Toronto Tech Summit

Along with Tech Summit host and organizer, Genesys, other York Region companies such as Richmond Hill-based Mobile Live and Markham-based IBM Canada participated on the panel discussions sharing thoughts on the latest trends in AI and the technology’s tremendous impact in the customer experience space.

As the recent blog from Genesys, 3 Customer Experience Game Changers – From the Toronto Tech Summit, summarized nicely; the world of customer experience is changing rapidly and is being driven by three game-changing technologies; Artificial Intelligence, Asynchronous Messaging, and Blockchain.

The blog is a must read if you are interested in a summary of the latest trends discussed by the panelists. This very easy to understand blog is great for any person new to the “world” of AI or experienced professional. It was written by Walla Oriqat, leader of Technology Partnerships and the AppFoundry Marketplace Program at Genesys.

However, as the IT World Canada article, The myths around AI, as explained at the Toronto Tech Summit, Artificial Intelligence will not solve everything and isn’t necessary applicable in all situations. There were some very frank and honest opinions by some of the panelists that the narrative about AI is slightly misguided at times and there are misconceptions that AI is always, “inherently valuable.”

Special thanks to Chris Connolly, VP of Product Development at Genesys and Host of the Toronto Tech Summit, for delivery of York Link’s sponsorship message to the audience. The conference was a full house with great energy and continued to build on the successes of past Toronto Tech Summit events. We look forward to seeing what the 2019 Toronto Tech Summit holds for tech professionals and businesses!

Gordon Scheel is a Senior Business Advisor with York Region’s Economic Strategy Team. Gordon works with local and international technology companies to expand and grow their businesses in Toronto Area’s York Region. He is passionate about telling the York Region “place making” story and why it is one of the most sought after communities in Canada to live and work. Outside of work, Gordon enjoys all things German soccer and being active outdoors through cycling or hanging out with his dog.


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