Druide informatique donates $1 million to MILA laboratory

December 7, 2016

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of its Antidote software program and the 50th anniversary of the Department of Computer Science and Operational Research (DIRO) at Université de Montréal, Druide informatique has announced the creation of a $1 million fund to support text analysis research through deep learning.

The Fonds Druide pour la recherché en analyse de texte (Druide fund for text analysis research) will be allocated to the MILA Laboratory. MILA is led by Professor Yoshua Bengio, who is associated with DIRO and has earned international recognition for his spectacular advances in artificial intelligence (AI) through deep learning. Druide is also introducing the Antidote scholarship, which will award $20,000 each year to a student or researcher as part of the Fonds Druide. With its 150 researchers working on both sides of Mount Royal, MILA, which is at the heart of the IVADO hub, is a leader in its field. Drawing inspiration from Silicon Valley, Professor Bengio and his team hope to make Montreal “AI Mountain,” and Druide informatique is proud to contribute to this ambitious plan with the Fonds Druide and Antidote scholarship.

Druide’s three founding shareholders, Éric Brunelle, André d’Orsonnens and Bertrand Pelletier, who have led the company since its creation, all studied at Université de Montréal, as did most Druide team members. The donation is their way of giving back to their alma mater in appreciation for what they received, while providing impetus they hope will lead to major applications spurred by this revolutionary learning technology.

“Automatic text analysis lends itself well to deep learning and the efficient processing of large quantities of data,” explained Professor Bengio, Director of MILA and Scientific Director of IVADO. “The Fonds Druide will enable us to increase our text analysis research budget by some 20%. We are particularly pleased that this donation has come from a Quebec company not only founded by former students but one whose products are of use to so many people.”

Launched in November 1996, Antidote gained immediate acclaim as a remarkable artificial intelligence application designed for general use. In the past 20 years, its corrector, dictionaries and guides have benefited from continuous technological and linguistic development, culminating in 2015 with complete English processing. Antidote is today used by more than one million people in the French-speaking world, both for business and individual use. Druide continuously and methodically improves Antidote and intends to remain on the front lines to ensure its users benefit from the deep learning research findings.

About Druide informatique

Druide informatique produces and markets Antidote, the most complete writing assistance software suite available for English and French, as well as Typing Pal, the renowned typing tutorial application. Druide is also the creator of WebElixir, a quality assurance service for websites, while its subsidiary, Éditions Druide, publishes French-language literature and reference works. 

Media resource

Julie Gazaille
Université de Montréal
Tel: 514 343-6796

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