Embassy removes AI-generated Canada Day social media post

Embassy removes AI-generated Canada Day social media post

The Canadian Embassy in Washington has removed a social media post that included an AI-generated image.

In a statement to the media, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) confirmed that its June 30 post on X (formerly Twitter), encouraging people to celebrate Canada Day, did not cite generative AI as a source.

“This is a new technology that the departments are exploring, and as the technology evolves, the Department of Global Affairs will adapt its policy on the use of AI as recommended (by the Treasury Board Secretariat),” the GAC said in the statement.

The image, of a crowd of people waving Canadian flags, was a stock image that GAC obtained through a subscription. The artist who created the image used artificial intelligence to create it, GAC said.

In the latest federal budget, the Liberal government allocated approximately $2.4 billion to support the development of artificial intelligence in Canada over the next five years.

The government said $2 billion will be used to help researchers, startups and existing companies access the computing power needed to advance and develop artificial intelligence.

The federal government said it will invest an additional $200 million to help bring AI technologies to market in agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing and clean technology.

The National Research Council will receive $100 million over five years to help small and medium-sized businesses implement new AI technologies. The government has allocated $50 million to retrain workers displaced by AI technologies.

Institute for Artificial Intelligence Security

The budget document also allocated $50 million to create an AI Security Institute, to “help Canada better understand and protect against the risks of advanced or malicious AI systems.”

When Parliament returns in September, the Liberal government will continue to push through Bill C-27, the first federal bill specifically aimed at regulating artificial intelligence.

The law would update privacy regulations and impose new obligations on “high-impact” systems that could have adverse effects on health and safety, human rights or the economy.

The bill has been considered by committee since September 2023 and is currently at the second reading stage in the House of Commons.

Last week, the federal government launched a consultation on artificial intelligence that will ask innovators, companies and researchers to identify the best places to invest to ensure that Canadian AI development remains competitive. The consultation will run from June 26 to September 6.

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