BMO's $5M gift to fund exploration of AI's creative potential at U of T

Ariel (Coleen MacPherson) spreads fire throughout the ship through her digitally-tracked body movements. Selections from The Tempest, class production for the graduate course “Collisions and Common Ground: Art - Technology – Performance.” BMO LAB for Creative Research in AI, the Arts and Performance, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Luella Massey Studio Theatre, University of Toronto. Toronto, 2019. (Photo by David Rokeby)

With its largest-ever gift to a single Canadian institution, BMO Financial Group is investing $5 million to explore the potential of artificial intelligence and other revolutionary technologies in a novel way. The BMO Lab for Creative Research in the Arts, Performance, Emerging Technologies and AI, an initiative of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies, will harness the latest technological developments to create new forms of human expression.

Through multidisciplinary work and performances, the BMO Lab will advance the use of AI in the arts and engage the public in critical reflection on the role of technology in creative human expression. Students who participate in the BMO Lab will gain a deep understanding of how to use AI and other emerging technologies to answer challenges facing governments and businesses today.

“AI is rapidly changing how we work, create and live,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “Thanks to this visionary gift from BMO Financial Group, the BMO Lab will bring together researchers and students from across the university to explore the potential for AI and other advanced technologies to enable creativity in human expression. At the same time, it will empower a new generation of leaders to apply this technology in solving problems and addressing new challenges.”

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