Four ways Canada can own the artificial intelligence century

Google Home: Artificial intelligence is already present in millions of homes in the form of smart assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo. (Google)© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2018.
Artificial intelligence is already present in millions of homes in the form of “smart assistants” like Google Home and Amazon Echo. (Google)

In January 2018, both Microsoft’s and Alibaba’s deep-learning software did better than humans on reading and comprehension tests, opening the door to artificial intelligence–based customer service, medical diagnoses, and many other applications. Research and investments in AI have exploded globally in the past year and this is just one example.

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Canada is at the forefront of these developments. Canada pioneered research in neural networks and has the world’s third largest AI talent pool, according to consultancy Element AI.

The pace of AI development is fast. And, the global potential is huge and growing rapidly, estimated at $US2.4 billion in 2017, close to double what it was in 2016. Now is the time for Canada to advance its AI technologies and businesses in global markets.

Canada is a relatively small, open economy with social and economic stability. Canada can build on its foundational AI research to lead the development of AI best practises that advance economic

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/four-ways-canada-can-own-the-artificial-intelligence-century/ar-BBJrLgT?srcref=rss

Loblaw Companies Ltd. hit by PC Optimum costs

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported a drop in its fourth-quarter profit compared with a year ago, hit by costs related to the announcement of its PC Optimum loyalty rewards program.

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The company merged the Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus programs this year under the PC Optimum brand.

The retailer, which includes Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart, says its profit available to common shareholders totalled $19 million or five cents per share for the quarter. That compared with a profit of $201 million or 50 cents per share in the final quarter of 2016.

On an adjusted basis, Loblaw says its earnings available to common shareholders totalled $441 million or $1.13 per share, up from $393 million or 97 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Analysts had expected an adjusted profit of $1.11 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

a sign on the side of a building© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

Revenue for the 12-week period fell to $11.03 billion compared with $11.13 billion a year earlier due to the sale of the company’s gas bar operations.

Food retail same-store sales were up 0.5 per cent, excluding gas bar operations, while drug retail same-store sales increased 3.6 per cent.

The company had warned in November that it expects 2018 “will be a very difficult year” as the Canadian grocery

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/loblaw-companies-ltd-hit-by-pc-optimum-costs/ar-BBJs3h4?srcref=rss

‘25% is a big number’: B.C. luxury car dealers brace for impact of new surtax

a truck is parked in front of a car: A saleswoman shows customers an Aston Martin at a luxury car dealership in Vancouver, British Columbia on October 10, 2015.© Julie Gordon/Reuters
A saleswoman shows customers an Aston Martin at a luxury car dealership in Vancouver, British Columbia on October 10, 2015.

The mood in B.C.’s auto industry has soured in the wake of the NDP government doubling the surtax on luxury cars in its 2018 budget. 

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Starting April 1, PST will go up from 10 per cent to 15 per cent on vehicles priced between $125,000 and $149,000.

Buyers shelling out more than $150,000 for a vehicle will pay 20 per cent in GST, also up from 10 per cent. 

A person buying a $300,000 vehicle would pay $75,000 in taxes, including the 5-per-cent GST. 

The NDP government — which first introduced a luxury car surtax in the ’90s — says the revenue will “help pay for better services for British Columbians.” 

But high-end car dealers and industry observers are calling it a “punitive” tax in Canada’s luxury-car mecca. 

“My phone has not stopped ringing,” said Blair Qualey, president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C., which represents nearly 400 dealerships and 36,000 workers. 

“Our members who sell in the market are gravely concerned.” 

a man wearing a suit and tie: Blair Qualey,<p>Article source: <a target=http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/25-per-cent-is-a-big-number-bc-luxury-car-dealers-brace-for-impact-of-new-surtax/ar-BBJr6oM?srcref=rss

GM cutback in car production at Oshawa plant to be extended: report

a close up of a sign: GM is reported to be extending a cutback in car production at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., amid a continuing slump in sales of passenger cars generally in North America and specifically in the U.S. market for the two cars - the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala - that are built at the facility.© Paul Sancya/Associated Press
GM is reported to be extending a cutback in car production at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., amid a continuing slump in sales of passenger cars generally in North America and specifically in the U.S. market for the two cars – the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala – that are built at the facility.

General Motors Co. is reportedly extending a cutback in car production at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., into April and May before it begins a second shift to produce pickup trucks later this year.

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The automaker had halted production of Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala cars for three weeks in January and brought the plant back online on one shift instead of the previous two shifts for the rest of the first quarter.

But The Globe and Mail, citing a memo it says Unifor sent to workers at the plant, reported Wednesday that GM

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/gm-cutback-in-car-production-at-oshawa-plant-to-be-extended-report/ar-BBJs7vu?srcref=rss