Ontario has become a true hub for artificial intelligence, not just in Canada, but worldwide and the province's reputation as a global leader in AI is growing. It's home to world-class research centres such as the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Whether in fintech, medtech or other fields, some of the most promising AI ventures are located within the province. Here are just a handful of the ones to watch this year.

Ross Intelligence

Location: Toronto

ROSS Intelligence has a vision to create the world's smartest lawyer through the application of artificial intelligence. ROSS uses machine learning to recognize patterns of context, syntax and meaning within legal documents, uncovering precise answers to legal questions – not just keywords. Its industry-leading AI algorithm then ranks cases relevant to the query, effectively resolving two of the most common challenges in legal research:

  • Too many cases on a legal issue; which one supports an argument?
  • Too few cases on a legal issue; am I engaged in the right line of inquiry?


Location: Toronto

Dessa designs, builds and deploys applied AI solutions for enterprise. In 2016, the company became one of the first AI companies in the world to put a deep learning system into production for a retail bank. No wonder Dessa has caught the attention of Alex Krizhevsky, designer of the convolutional neural network that won the monumental 2012 ImageNet Challenge. Krizhevsky joined Dessa in 2018 as a Technical Advisor.


Location: Ottawa

Ottawa-based Interset applies the latest technologies in big data analytics and artificial intelligence to the fast-paced cybersecurity industry. Its platform accurately detects insider threats as well as emerging threats, connecting the dots of an attack in order to identify who is involved, what assets are at risk and how the attack is unfolding. Interset's products have already been tested and deployed across the U.S. intelligence community. With Ottawa's neighbours – Toronto and Montreal – having gained reputations as leaders in AI innovation, and Ottawa quickly catching up, Interset is right in the middle of Canada's world-renowned AI ecosystem.

Bench Sci

Location: Toronto

In May 2018, Alphabet's artificial intelligence venture fund chose Toronto's biomedical start-up, Bench Sci, as its first Canadian investment. In the age of the replicability crisis, where scholars have found that the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to replicate, Bench Sci leverages machine learning to scan hundreds of vendors and millions of data points in order to find the right antibodies for your experiment up to 24 times faster than traditional methods – thereby helping to shorten the drug discovery process.


Location: Toronto

Few trends in IT have been more revolutionary than cloud computing, from improved flexibility to better security and automatic software updates. But with the advantages come new challenges – including, infrastructure optimization and management of cloud spending. Densify utilizes machine learning to optimize cloud environments in real time, enabling customers to operate with less cloud cost, less infrastructure and better performing applications.


Location: Toronto

As more customers demand digital customer care, companies can't scale quality customer service with humans alone. Wysdom has grown from a start-up at MaRS Discovery District to working with international brands to deliver AI-enhanced customer service through chatbots that use natural language processing. Enhanced by data from several sources as well as a rules engine for analytics, Wysdom's platform is continually improving the level of service it provides customers.


Location: Toronto

Cyclica is a Toronto-based biotechnology company that is driving drug discovery by empowering scientists in pharma with an integrated cloud-based and AI-augmented platform that enhances how they design, screen and personalize medicines. Cyclica recently announced a collaboration with Bayer.


Location: Toronto

Zoom.ai improves the employee experience by providing everyone in the company with their own automated assistant to handle tasks such as searching for files, scheduling meetings, generating documents and much more. Available on any chat platform, the application understands 170+ languages and learns your basic preferences to enable quick, hassle-free workday automation.


Location: Toronto

Toronto-based technology company, Receptiviti, has developed a platform that applies AI and proprietary language psychology science to companies’ internal communication systems, providing real-time insights into the psychological state of the workforce.


Location: Toronto

Based in Toronto, Rubikloud's full stack, cloud-native machine learning platform and two flagship AI applications (Promotion Manager & Customer LifeCycle Manager) automate and improve mass promotional planning and loyalty driven marketing for multi-billion-dollar retailers.

2018 AI Companies to watch

You'll want to keep last year's AI companies to watch on your list. They are: Acerta, Elucid Labs, Layer 6, Mindbridge.AI, WinterLight Labs, Deep Genomics, Blue J Legal, Horizons ETFs, Integrate.AI and A4L.

Think your company should be on this list? Please connect with our team.

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February 13, 2019
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