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Major bank partners with Western for AI research

The Royal Bank of Canada is partnering with Western University to establish the RBC Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Project. The $3-million investment will be used to focus on answering big questions for the good of society.

Royal Bank of Canada is providing $3M in funding to expand artificial intelligence and data analytics programs

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is partnering with Western University to establish the RBC Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Project.

The $3-million investment will be used to expand the university's ongoing cross-disciplinary work in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, with a focus on answering big questions for the good of society.

"This investment is a catalyst to help Western provide tomorrow's leaders with the skill set they'll need to navigate a world full of data and find solutions to the challenges they will inevitably face during their careers," said Alan Shepard, the president of Western University, in a statement.

"We're excited to be partnering with RBC to help provide and promote training of 21st century talent that's not only technically proficient, but also ethically and socially aware," he added. 

Western says the partnership will also create opportunities for RBC experts to share "cutting edge, real-life cases and help prepare future leaders for the jobs of tomorrow."

"Collaboration between industry, government and academia will help to drive the future success of Canada," Bruce Ross, group head of technology and operations at RBC, said in a statement.

"Artificial intelligence and data science are transforming our world today, and we see a huge opportunity to partner with Western, a leading university, to prepare the next generation of talent with the knowledge, skills and experiences needed to drive that success."

The project will see the implementation of two new courses that will focus on the ethical and social aspects of data analytics and AI. Western will also establish a Design Thinking program that will aim to build skill sets in design thinking and coding that could open the door to an internship opportunity at RBC.

Two new scholarship funds will also be set up in Data Science and Software Engineering.

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