Ask AI’s fascinating conversation with Michael Karlin, Senior Advisor at Treasury Board of Canada / Office of Canada’s CIO

In Canada, we’re at the start of an incredibly important national conversation about how to best apply artificial intelligence within our businesses, public sector, and society.

This is evident not only in the sheer volume of media stories about AI (as we explored in a recent podcast episode) but also in the quality of discourse we’re hearing within our public institutions.

As might be expected, scientific and research organizations such as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research have lead the way, but we’re now starting to hear new voices emerge from a much wider set of public institutions.

Take for example the Office of the CIO of Canada (OCIO) which sits within Treasury Their mandate is to provide “strategic direction in information management, information technology, security, privacy and access to information in Canada”. 

It is here that we find Michael Karlin, a Senior Advisor within the OCIO whose recent work has taken an almost startup-like approach in order to widen and deepen the national conversation about artificial intelligence.

It Started In a Ramen Bar

This episode of the Ask AI Podcast shares the story of how Michael took a very “startup” approach to tackle one the biggest Governmental policy and ethical issues of our time.

If you thought you understood how things work in Ottawa this interview may be a bit of an eye-opener!

“There’s an incredible amount of opportunity to offer citizens profound service improvements using AI technology, and there are also issues that we could over-step, so in order to keep ourselves honest, it’s important that the public keep engaged and keep asking us the hard questions.”

Michael Karlin, Canada’s Office of Canada’s CIO

Episode Highlights

  • Michael’s famous Google Doc: 3 min 35 secs
  • Prospects for a community approach to policy: 9 mins 26 secs
  • Michael’s perspective on ethics in AI: 13 mins 31 secs
  • How Michael stays up-to-date in AI: 15 mins 37 secs
  • AI as a dark horse issue in public policy: 18 mins 45 secs

Episode Links

Michael on Twitter

Michael on Medium

Cognitive Sciences Free Course

CIO of Canada website

CIO of Canada (Alex Benay) on Twitter

Treasury Board on Twitter

Treasury Board on LinkedIn

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Episode Credits

Hosts: Jaxson Khan and Heather Evans

Recording: Robyn Edgar

Senior Producer: Mike Letourneau

Executive Producer: Chris McLellan

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About Ask AI

Ask AI has a mission to increase learning, participation, and inclusiveness within Canada’s artificial intelligence and future skills initiatives.  

Our volunteer-run projects include events in Toronto and Ottawa, the Ask AI podcast, and a helpful chatbot. Visit http://askai.org