Algonquin College teams with IBM, Salesforce on machine learning application

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Algonquin College is teaming up with two U.S. tech giants to develop an early warning system for students at academic risk, the school announced this week.

The college said it is partnering with IBM and Salesforce on the project, which will use IBM Watson machine learning algorithms to create the system. The project is being funded partly by the provincial government, which has given the college $1.15 million from its Colleges Applied Research & Development Fund.

“This game-changing funding will provide our faculty and students with dynamic opportunities, deliver solutions to our industry partners and provide our learners with one-of-a-kind work experience and career development,” Algonquin president Cheryl Jensen said in a statement.

In the first phase of funding, Algonquin will receive $1 million over two years to build a research lab focused on new technologies that benefit post-secondary schools and students. The collaboration with IBM and Salesforce will be the lab’s first project.

The second phase will see the college receive an additional $150,000 over one year to work with about 25 small businesses and startups on applied research projects aimed at using cutting-edge technologies to develop new products and services. About 300 Algonquin students are already involved in other projects with the companies.

The new program will focus on five industry sectors: life sciences; IT and digital design; electro-mechanical; manufacturing and robotics; buildings and energy; and wireless.