Coffee Briefing Apr. 18 – Toronto startup’s tech helps paint cars better; Emissions Reduction Alberta launches new funding; Canadians are unsure about AI-powered search and more

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Toronto startup Mazlite is solving painting issues in the automotive industry

Source: Mazlite

A Toronto-based startup, Mazlite Inc., is using first-of-its-kind technology — an advanced spray monitoring platform that combines sensors and analytics — to deliver high quality coatings for the automotive industry. It works in real time and detects slight changes in the automotive spraying process, which will give paint shops the visibility they need to stop problems before they occur on the production line.

Production line colour challenges range from mismatched hues when plastic and metal car parts are combined to human or robotic errors.

“The whole colour matching and environmental aspect to painting new cars is extremely complex and yet, it’s taken for granted,” said Amirreza Amighi, Mazlite chief executive officer and co-founder.

Mazlite is solving these issues by applying a scientific lens, with the help of expertise from student researchers supported through Mitacs. 

Its cloud-based sensors work like an automated inspector, measuring spray patterns on the line to ensure the coating thickness is correct. The sensors continually monitor paint materials to avoid defects due to changes in colour or poor finishes.

Emissions Reduction Alberta announces up to $50 million to fund technology that will help reshape the province’s energy systems


Source: EMA


Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA) is launching a new C$50 million Reshaping Energy Systems funding competition through the Government of Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.

This investment aims to advance technologies with a focus on transport, distribution, storage, and optimization of energy use to lessen emissions while creating more job opportunities and a more efficient energy system, the announcement says. 

“This investment will help support new ways to transport, manage and use Alberta’s energy. Technologies enabled by this funding will help future proof Alberta’s energy systems, allowing us to support new ways to improve environmental sustainability, industry competitiveness, and reduce costs,” said Justin Riemer, chief executive officer, Emissions Reduction Alberta.

Successful applicants are eligible for up to C$10 million, with a minimum request of $250,000. The maximum ERA contribution to a single project will be no more than 50 per cent of the project’s eligible costs. The application deadline is Thursday, June 15, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Innovators, technology developers, commercial and industrial building owners, municipalities, Indigenous communities, associations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development organizations, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and others are invited to apply. An informational webinar will be held on Monday, April 24, 2023.

Canadian VC Firm Gremlin Ventures of Halifax launches Quota, a financial reporting dashboard for SMBs


Source: Gremlin Ventures


Gremlin Ventures, a venture capitalist firm, has announced the launch of Quota, a small business financial reporting dashboard. 

Quota uses machine learning technology to provide current data on small business health, forecasting, and insights for small business owners

Gremlin Ventures is a Canadian firm that backs fintech companies Wagepoint and huumans. It has appointed Ryan Dineen, an expert in financial technology, as Quota’s chief executive officer. 

“I’m beyond excited to join Quota and start building a team that is as passionate about supporting small business owners as I am,” said Dineen. “During my career I’ve been able to engage with many dedicated and enthusiastic cloud accounting advisors and their small business customers. Being able to bring them an innovative solution like Quota is an incredible opportunity.”

Quota maps a business’ Chart of Accounts to North American Classification System and General Index of Financial Information standards in real time, not only when a business owner files their taxes. Quota can then provide tax reports for owners and advisors.

According to the announcement,  Quota’s AI-powered engine can help business owners make real-time assessments of business risk and health based on real cash, liabilities and expenses, which allows for more accurate advisory.

Research finds Canadians are unsure about AI-powered search


Source: GetApp


New research from GetApp found that Canadians are uncertain about using AI-powered search. 

GetApp surveyed more than 1,000 web users in Canada who search online at least once a month. The research reveals that most respondents would not rely solely on answers delivered by AI-powered chatbots such as ChatGPT.

For 43 per cent of respondents, their willingness to trust AI depends on the topic. Almost 30 per cent of users stated they would double-check any answers given by AI. 

A small number of respondents, 13 per cent, believe that AI would make browsing simpler, but 17 per cent of those surveyed stated they would never trust AI as a source of information. 

When it comes what Canadians trust for information, 38 per cent of Canadians surveyed trust information from the government, compared to 42 per cent who trust information from reputable companies when searching online.

More to explore

Adobe announces new Firefly AI tools for video editors

Adobe recently revealed its next generation of AI features, a collection of generative models called Firefly. These are the first features to generate both images and font effects.

Government of Canada and Ericsson announce $470 million R&D partnership

Today, Ericsson Canada announced a five-year partnership with the government of Canada to invest more than C$470 million in its Research and Development (R&D) facilities in Ottawa and Montreal.

Adobe agrees to pay US$3 million to settle kickback allegations

Adobe Inc. has agreed to pay US$3 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it made payments in violation of the Anti-Kickback Act in return for influence over the sale of Adobe software to the U.S. federal government.

Commercial spyware-maker QuaDream to close, say reports

An Israel-based commercial spyware company whose iPhone hacking technology is allegedly used by governments to compromise the phones of political opponents and reporters is closing.

AWS launches generative AI tools

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) software such as ChatGPT has captured the imaginations of consumers and businesses alike, as they experiment with everything from search bots like Microsoft Bing Chat to embedded technology in existing customer support systems, such as Salesforce Einstein.

Human-centred approach essential to an effective cybersecurity strategy: Gartner

Security leaders should rethink their balance of investments across technology and human-centric security design practices, Gartner says in a new report detailing the top cybersecurity trends for 2023.

Channel Bytes April 14, 2023 – Infinidat expands Veeam collaboration; New GM for NetApp Canada; MSI suffers cyber attack; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Dell Technologies unveils its 2023 commercial portfolio

Last month, Dell Technologies announced its 2023 commercial lineup, adding new devices,  touting multiple performance enhancements and an increased focus on sustainability in its new designs. 

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Tech workers asked how’d you like your old job back at half pay and no benefits, Rumours abound that Samsung might dump Google’s Chrome browser for Microsoft’s AI powered Bing and heaven help me, but AI really is going to the dogs.


Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

This episode reports on new macOS ransomware, a warning to accounting and tax preparation firms on a scam, and more.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

If you live in Québec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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