Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant that has been barred from 5G infrastructure in Canada due to national security risks, has provided multimillion-dollar funding to an Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher for establishing a new research institution in Alberta.

University of Alberta computer science professor Richard Sutton is launching the Openmind Research Institute (ORI) with $4.8 million in funding from Huawei, as first reported by Globe and Mail. The institute, set to open on Nov. 24 in Edmonton, will support researchers following the Alberta Plan, a 12-step guide co-authored by Mr. Sutton aimed at achieving human-level artificial intelligence (AI). The institute has no affiliation with the University of Alberta.
In 2022, Canada barred Huawei from participating in the construction of its 5G wireless infrastructure, in line with actions taken by its Five Eyes intelligence allies due to shared national security concerns. Huawei is deeply linked with the Chinese military. Its founder, Ren Zhengfei, previously served as the director of an information engineering department within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

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