AI IN THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC: Thales Drives AI Innovation in Montréal




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Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently recognizable in many everyday consumer products, but for it to be adopted in solutions involved with critical decision-making, AI must be reliable, trusted and ethical.

Realizing that vision drives the work of the Thales Center of Excellence in AI at the cortAIx site, the international technology company’s innovation facility in the heart of Montréal’s AI hub, as well as the Thales Research and Technology site in Québec City, which together form the Thales Digital Solutions entity.

In the province, over 100 Thales engineers and scientists are advancing AI research and developing applied AI toward providing real-world trusted solutions to clients in markets including aeronautics, space, defense, mobility, maritime and healthcare.

Some of the capabilities offered by Thales:
• Explainable AI for autonomous cars
• Reasoning engine for chat bots
• Expert assistant for flight crews
• Flight management systems for swarming drones
• Human monitoring solutions for defense and healthcare
• AI X-ray diagnosis solutions

Among these innovators is Freddy Lecue, Thales Chief AI Scientist at the cortAIx site. His team is collaborating with organizations like Audi, NYC MTA, and the Canadian Space Agency, as well as a vast network of research centers all over the world. “The future of AI lies in enabling people to collaborate with machines to solve complex problems,” says Lecue. “Like any efficient collaboration, this requires good communication, trust and understanding.”

Global network of research partners:
• University of Oxford (UK)
• University College London (UK)
• CEA (France)
• Inria (France)
• University of Edinburgh (UK)
• University of Alberta (Canada)
• University Laval (Canada)
• University of Montreal (Canada)
• University of Sherbrooke (Canada)
• Dalhousie University (Canada)
• Concordia University (Canada)

To that end, Canadian tech startup AI-R – a graduate from the first season of the Thales [email protected] business acceleration program – is combining AI algorithms and training of humans with the objective to strengthen mutual adoption while allowing traceability and trust of AI algorithms.

AI in the physical world and daily life could have a major impact on the well-being of people but also on their safety and integrity. That is why Thales has developed its TrUE AI approach, committing AI solutions to be transparent, understandable and ethical, while keeping humans at the center of the equation.

Transparent • Understandable Ethical • TrUE AI

“Thales is working to understand the mechanisms behind AI development while allowing TrUE interaction between humans and machines,” says Siegfried Usal, Vice President of Digital Innovation for Thales in North America, and General Manager of Thales Digital Solutions Inc. “Machines and humans are going to be collaborating more and more, and the goal is to deploy AI in the real world while serving and protecting people wherever and whenever it makes sense for humans.”

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