5 AI startups offering productivity-boosting innovations

5 AI startups offering productivity-boosting innovations

Canada is a powerhouse when it comes to AI business applications. Some of the most promising startups are helping companies optimize and automate financial insights, legal research and customer service — safely and securely.

From the steam engine to the semiconductor, society has gone through several technological revolutions. But there has never been a time quite like the present. Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming one of the biggest disruptors our world has ever seen. Now available to anyone with internet access, the technology is radically transforming every sector of the economy. It’s estimated that the use of generative AI alone could add close to U.S.$4.4 trillion to the global economy by 2040. And as computational power grows and more data becomes readily available, AI applications will only improve, becoming more accurate and specialized.

Canada, which has long been a leader in the tech field, is breaking new ground with applications that optimize everything from financial insights to legal research to customer service. Many of these new innovations were front and centre at MaRS Impact AI on February 22. Here are five Toronto-based companies that are turning heads — and profits.


Hudson Labs uncovers financial insights

The issue: While generative AI is great at mimicking human language, it wasn’t exactly built for equity research, which analyzes stock performance to help portfolio managers make investment decisions. Tools, such as ChatGPT, lack higher level subject matter expertise and often fail at providing users with the up-to-date, accurate information that capital markets professionals need.

Hudson Lab’s solution: To address these limitations, Kris Bennatti co-founded AI-powered equity research software company Hudson Labs in 2019. The company’s AI models are specifically trained to read large financial data sets from earnings calls and public filings to uncover actionable insights.


Arteria AI cuts down on paperwork

The issue: Drafting documents, extracting contractual data from various sources and requesting approvals is laborious and tedious, costing financial institutions time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Arteria AI’s solution: A former lawyer, CEO Shelby Austin recognized the potential of AI to help streamline the process for creating documents and contracts. After her first document technology company was acquired by Deloitte, she founded Arteria AI. The platform, which is used by financial institutions such as Citi and Goldman Sachs, provides users with insights to accelerate approvals and negotiations with clients.


Blue J reduces legal legwork

The issue: Traditional legal and tax research methods take a lot of time, resulting in lost revenue.

Blue J’s solution: This Toronto company leverages AI and machine learning to make law more accessible. Its labor and employment platform helps legal professionals conduct research and predict court outcomes. The company’s new AI tool, Ask Blue J is trained on U.S. tax content databases and helps experts quickly find answers to difficult tax questions. Its blue-chip client roster includes the Federal Justice Department, Canadian Revenue Agency and KPMG.


Private AI safeguards our personal information

The issue: Data breaches are becoming all-too common. Companies, which collect copious amounts of sensitive data, need to ensure the data it stores is secure and meets industry specific standards.

Private AI’s solution: The company leverages machine learning models to identify, redact and replace personally identifiable information with synthetic data (that mimics real data) across various files in more than 52 languages. This allows clients to store, analyze and share relevant insights with stakeholders without breaching compliance. In 2023, Private AI launched PrivateGPT, a tool that helps companies redact sensitive information so they can use OpenAI’s chatbot without compromising customer or employee privacy.


Armilla AI stress-tests new applications

The issue: Deploying new AI technology can expose businesses to undue risk.

Armilla AI’s solution: This company helps enterprises assess their AI tools to make sure they aren’t at risk of leaking sensitive data or launching an easily manipulated chatbot. The company’s platform also helps companies fine-tune generative AI models to prevent hallucinations and potentially harmful responses.

MaRS Impact Health brings together innovators across digital health, medical devices and biotech to commercialize new breakthroughs, empower our healthcare workers and improve patient outcomes.

MaRS Impact Health brings together innovators across digital health, medical devices and biotech to commercialize new breakthrough, empower our healthcare workers and improve patient outcomes. June 12 and 13. Find out more here.

Main image source: iStock