April 12, 2020

Statement from Garth Gibson, President & CEO, Vector Institute

“The ability of machine learning tools to identify patterns and make accurate predictions based on large volumes of data is well documented. Over the last three years, the Vector Institute has been building a community of over 400 machine learning and inter-disciplinary experts in areas such as privacy, data governance, chemistry, economics, and health.

Today, the Vector Institute stands ready to support Ontario’s fight against COVID-19.

High-performance computing already purchased by the Vector Institute and on its way to Toronto, specifically, 240 cutting edge NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), will be re-purposed towards Ontario’s Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR) project to support data-intensive analysis and inform decision-making.

The computing power will enable processing of large amounts of data spanning Ontario’s vast universal health system, allowing for deeper insights on critical issues such as risk of spread to vulnerable people; asymptomatic transmission and outbreaks; allocation of resources such as tests, ventilators, staffing; localized social distancing and closure policies; and, stabilization of supply chains for ventilators and PPE.

Working with the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society at the University of Toronto, Vector Institute experts in areas such as data privacy, ethics, and governance will also help guide Ontario’s implementation of policies and procedures to uphold privacy and security.

I am deeply proud of the Vector Institute’s community of scientists who have not hesitated to contribute their expertise to combat this pandemic, and this necessary infrastructure will ensure Ontario benefits fully from Ontario’s high concentration of world-class machine learning practitioners.”

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