Intact provides funds to new AI and data analysis research chairs

Published: January 22, 2019

Updated: February 1, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Intact Financial has announced a partnership with Université Laval that will see a partnership to create two new research chairs to further develop artificial intelligence solutions. The two chairs are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)/Intact Financial Corporation Industrial Research Chair in Machine Learning for Insurance, and the Education Leadership Chair (ELC) in Big Data Analysis for Actuarial Science – Intact.

In a press release this week, Intact Financial said it will make a $2 million contribution to both chairs, helping 30 students from Université Laval’s Faculty of Science and Engineering to conduct research.

“At Intact, we are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to design relevant products and services for customers and we aspire to be the best insurance AI shop in the world. That is why we are building unique partnerships with leading institutions like Université Laval,” said Intact Financial CEO Charles Brindamour.

“Our collaboration with Université Laval is aimed at building a leading talent pipeline of actuaries and data scientists, developing cutting-edge products and positioning Quebec and Canada at the forefront of AI and machine learning,” Brindamour continued.

“Advances in research and training will strengthen Canada’s position as a world leader in artificial intelligence, while expanding the scope of our expertise in machine learning and big data,” added Université Laval rector Sophie D’Amours. “Such advances will speed up the adoption of machine learning methods in the insurance industry and foster the development of applications in many other sectors, such as medical diagnostics.”

The NSERC chair will allow researchers to develop interpretable machine learning technology. Alongside Intact’s financial support, the chair will receive government funding to bring its total grant sum to $6.5 million.

Researchers in the ELC chair will focus on training actuaries in the computing, digital, and statistical methods skills.