Artificial intelligence | Quebec AI in a few figures

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not just algorithms and big data. In the province, there are tens of thousands of professionals, hundreds of researchers and students, and investments amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. Overview of artificial intelligence figures in Quebec.


An industry in its own right

Quebec has 45,000 professionals in digital intelligence, according to data from the Forum IA Québec. At the heart of this sector are 2,200 highly specialized professionals, including 700 data scientists, 561 data analysts, 435 data engineers, 243 machine learning engineers and 216 artificial intelligence research scientists, indicates a report by TechnoCompétences on the profile of the sector’s workforce. On the periphery of these specialists, programmer-analysts (15,382) are the most numerous, as well as 5,079 business analysts and 4,973 web integrators.

Graduates and better paid

Artificial intelligence professionals focus on age groups between 25 and 45 years old. Two out of three have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. DESS and doctorate holders are not rare: they represent 11% of the artificial intelligence workforce in the province. Their remuneration is higher than that practiced in the field of information technology: an artificial intelligence specialist earns an average of $88,219 annually, compared to $78,000 in IT. Montreal alone has 41.3% of digital intelligence professionals, far more than the second region, Montérégie (17.3%).

Billions in investments

Over the period from 2017 to 2021, investments in venture capital funds amount to $1.5 billion, according to an analysis by PwC. Governments added 800 million in investments over the same period. The federal government has invested $520 million in Quebec, split half in research and the other half in businesses. For its part, the Quebec government has invested $293 million, or $140 million in research and $153 million in businesses. This total of 2.3 billion invested resulted in an equivalent amount in contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) and tax revenue.

Researchers and patents

Research is one of the strengths of the province’s artificial intelligence. Mila alone, the Quebec Institute of Artificial Intelligence, brings together more than 900 researchers and students, the highest concentration of university researchers in deep learning in the world, specifies the organization. Mila conducts more than 150 applied and basic research projects. The institute contributes to the publication of nearly 300 scientific articles each year. In total, all Quebec organizations have filed 42 patents related to artificial intelligence since 2017, according to the Forum IA Québec. Of these filings, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has accepted 32 patents.

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