Fireside Chat: The City of Toronto

The fireside chat explored questions including:

- Give us an overview of your background - how did you come to work in the intersection of technology and government?
- Toronto is currently heavily investing in becoming a ‘smart city’ - firstly, what do we mean by ‘smart city’ and how do you see this benefiting the everyday individual, as well as the city as a whole?
- How can AI and other emerging technologies help to create more efficient cities, and where will we see this come into effect in Toronto in the near future?
- Some of the biggest problems cities face are affordable housing, transportation, infrastructure, accessibility - will smart cities ‘solve’ this?
- What project are you currently working on where you see the greatest potential for positive social impact?
- How do we ensure social good for all is considered in the development of these cities?
What are some of the challenges you’re currently facing in transforming Toronto into a ‘smart city’ and implementing AI?
- Sustainability is a hot topic at the moment - how will these future cities be more sustainable?
- What vital ‘smart city’ lessons could other cities take from Toronto right now?
- What do the next 12 months look like for you and the City of Toronto?

Lawrence Eta, Deputy CIO at City of Toronto

Over the span of his career Lawrence has been involved in a wide range of technology industries, holding various senior leadership positions including, Global Director of Customer Success within the Internet of Things (IOT) sector, Vice President of Technical Architecture and Director of Business Technology Solutions for an international business process outsourcing organization and Director of Information Services for one of Canada's top 60 pension and benefits plans. A successful track record of leading large transformative business and technology initiatives, he excels at leading organizations technology transition in delivering services in an evolving global environment.

Brent Barron, Director, Public Policy at CIFAR

Brent Barron is Director, Public Policy at CIFAR where he is responsible for engaging the policy community around cutting edge science. He played an important role in the development of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, and now oversees CIFAR’s AI & Society program, examining the social, ethical, legal, and economic effects of AI. Prior to this role, Brent held a variety of positions in the Ontario Public Service, most recently in the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science.
Brent holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor’s in Media Studies from Western University.

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