January 16, 2018

Dr. Osmar R. Zaiane Joins SAM Board as First Technical Appointment

James Neufeld by James Neufeld

The worldwide AI race is on. Governments around the globe are doubling down on investments in AI research and their ecosystems in hopes of fostering the next tech revolution. Canada is no exception. In fact, in the words of Eric Schmidt: we have not only doubled down, we have quadrupled down.


Those familiar with the unrelenting hunger for innovation, rumbling through Canada’s startup ecosystem and academic hubs, will not be surprised. In particular, anyone attuned to Edmonton’s promising AI community will be well aware of the world class talent being thrust on to the world’s stage. The University of Alberta (U of A), which is well known for its prowess in the fields of STEM, is quietly laying the groundwork for this new technological infrastructure and consistently pushing the state of machine learning forward.

Dr. Osmar R. Zaiane is a leader in this community, as a Computer Science Professor at the U of A and the Scientific Director of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII). Dr. Zaiane has been working hard to advance the fields of big data and machine learning, and today I am very excited to announce that he will be joining the SAM Board of Directors as our first technical board appointment.

Dr. Zaiane’s appointment marks a big step in our technical focus – already actively problem solving with SAM’s development team for the past six months.

“Naturally AI is a space that has excited me for a very long time, but rarely do I get the chance to see the leaps forward that I have seen with what the SAM team is working on. SAM has a powerful combination of large data sets, exceptional talent, and deep industry knowledge. I’m extremely excited to have a seat at the table and help the development of what I believe is one of most disruptive uses of smart machines.

Social media data is one of, if not the most pervasive and valuable datasets the world has seen. Without a doubt it is the real-time pulse of the planet—yet almost every application on the market is reactive to trends, not predictive or autonomous. SAM is about to change that in a very big way.” – Dr. Osmar R. Zaiane.

Here at SAM we are laser focused on making sense of the world’s largest and most valuable data sets: social UGC. We started that mission by building one of the first ever social media search engines and CMS’, which now powers workflows in many of the world’s top newsrooms. Dr. Zaiane’s contributions will undoubtedly benefit our company as we continue to build a tool to shape the way that the world handles real-time data.

A very big welcome to Dr. Zaiane!

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