Microsoft's venture capital arm has placed its first bet on a new way to keep jobs and create new ones — artificial intelligence.
Montreal, Canada-based start-up Element AI is the first investment in a new AI fund launched by Microsoft Ventures and far from a jobs killer, the start-up views the rise of AI as a human worker's best chance at remaining relevant.
"There's a lot of talk about bringing back jobs," Element AI CEO Jean-François Gagné told CNBC on Monday. "As you do that, you need to stay competitive. You need to augment the workers, provide them with better tools. These are all areas where AI can do a lot."
To start, Element AI plans to build upon local resources available in Montreal and foster the creation of hundreds of jobs over the next five years, helping to preserve local talent and boost the Canadian economy.
Element AI, which was just formed in October, works with large corporations and research institutes to help businesses identify opportunities to invest in AI.