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IEEE Ottawa Section April 2020 Newsletter
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April 2020 Newsletter

Presented by the IEEE Ottawa Section, PHO Chapter, CS Chapter, SP Chapter, TEMS Chapter Jointly with Vitesse Reskilling:

IEEE Ottawa Seminar Series on AI and Machine Learning

The Rise & Foreseeable Future of Artificial Intelligence: Observations from a Commercial Pioneer

Peter MacKinnon

Synergy Technology Management

Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Time: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
11:30 - 12:00 Registration, networking, light lunch
12:00 - 1:00 Presentation and Q&A
1:00 - 1:30 Networking

Location: Now Hosted as an Online Webinar!

Registration: RVSP by visiting

Event Information:

Event Contact: Kexing Liu (

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly in the news with stories of promise and peril. Political leaders have declared it a national priority, the global high tech industry is racing AI apps to markets and policy and governance implications of AI are in their infancy.  We will explore where this is all heading. We will begin with some definitions and a bit of history behind the rise of AI.  The talk will then place AI in the context of being a potentially disruptive technology on society. This will lead to a discussion about ethics and moral issues regarding the development and use of aspects of AI as a dual-use
technology.  Time permitting, the role of AI in defence and security will be used as an example for appreciating the complexity and ethical issues brought on by AI. We will then turn to the role of the engineer in this new world being enabled by AI.

Finally, we will review potential governance and policy issues and options to address the rapid unchecked development and application of AI within society at large; and, ultimately end with a precautionary note.

Speaker Bio:
The speaker was a pioneer in the commercialization of AI in the 1980s and today is actively involved in ethical and policy issues related to AI.  Peter has an extensive background on the forefront of scientific and technological breakthroughs around disruptive technologies and their impacts on society.  He was an early proponent in the development and promotion of Big Data and data analytics using High Performance Computers, and was a major contributor in creating the Internet in Canada, among other accomplishments.

Peter has a background as a scientist, business manager, entrepreneur, domestic and international bureaucrat, executive, diplomat, management advisor, and academic; including most recently affiliation with both Telfer School of Management and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Engineering at Carleton University.  Peter also blogs on AI for the Institute on Science, Society and Policy, an interfaculty organisation at uOttawa.

Event is free, but space is limited.  All participants must register in advance.   
Please follow the link to register:

For more information, please contact: Kexing Liu (

Presented by the IEEE Ottawa Section IEEE Canada Humanitarian Technology Ad-hoc Committee:

Web Call to Discuss Possible COVID-19 response (IEEE Ottawa section)

Peter MacKinnon

Synergy Technology Management

Date: Friday, April 10, 2020

Time: 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
11:30 - 12:00 Registration, networking, light lunch
12:00 - 1:00 Presentation and Q&A
1:00 - 1:30 Networking

Location: Google Meet

Registration: RSVP via email: Alfredo Herrera (

Event Contact: Alfredo Herrera (

Dear Ottawa Section members,

​​The COVID-19 pandemic has reached a level of urgency that needs an "all hands on deck" approach​. If you are still ​waiting to play a role by contributing your academic, professional or personal skills to find technology-based solutions: please join us on a web call to organize ​a response​:

Tentative agenda:
  • (5min) Introductions
  • (15min) Sharing of IEEE-specific COVID-19 resources
  • (25min) Roundtable of local resources
  • (15min) Roundtable of known needs
  • (* min) Open discussion & wrap-up

Please RSVP by emailing:​ :​ this will enable us to prepare the agenda and round table with a number of participants in mind. 

Presented by the Ottawa Section Student Branches:

IEEE SPAC 2021 Leads Confirmation

The IEEE Student Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) committee is proud to announce that the Leads for IEEE SPAC 2021 are Kareem El Assad and Marla Jazzar! We wish the best of luck to these individuals for taking the responsibility to help move SPAC forward towards newer heights. As well as growing the leadership and gathering the future leaders within the engineering community as well.

Best of luck Kareem & Marla for next year!

The IEEE Student Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) is an annual formal dinner event which serves respected professionals to get engaged with engineering and computer science students within their fields. SPAC provides students, academics, and industry professionals, a chance to network and bridge the gap between classrooms and boardrooms, empowering its attendees to build professional connections. Hosted in 1979 for the first time, SPAC has manifested itself as an event where future professionals get exposure to the world of professionalism which complements their vocational education.

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