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Canada's next frontier: seizing the AI opportunity

Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Google Cloud and Google advertising tools delivered $45 billion of economic activity for Canadian businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators, and developers in 2022.

For the better part of a decade, we’ve been hearing about how Canada is having a tech moment. Academics, politicians, journalists and industry experts have rightfully been impressed by the quality of talent and innovation this country produces and the scale at which it grows. But Canada’s tech adoption for both industry and consumers isn’t just a ‘moment’ or something that has happened by chance–it’s now embedded in our DNA.

At Google, we’ve been excited about this country's possibilities and innovations for more than two decades. Google has been in Canada since 2001, with offices in Waterloo, Toronto, and Montreal, proudly supporting Canada’s thriving tech sector and the Canadians who use our products everyday.

A lot has happened with technology since we first put down our roots here. We’ve seen the rise of smartphones, the takeoff of video streaming, growth of electric vehicles, Cloud technologies, and more. Although there’s been an incredible amount of innovation over the years, there’s never been such a systemic and seismic shift globally in the industry than the one we’re seeing right now with artificial intelligence. Technology impacts every facet of our lives, and, if approached responsibly, it has the opportunity to continue to better people’s lives with its advances.

Our impact in Canada

Since the beginning, our mission has been to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful to all. And Canadians continue to choose to use our services every day. An Economic Impact Report published today by Public First, said Canadians identified Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube and Android as being among the 10 most helpful innovations of the last 30 years. On average, Canadians told us they used Google Search four times a day to research something for their personal life. That is the equivalent of over 5 million questions answered every hour.

Let’s take a further look at Google’s impact in Canada in 2022:

  • Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Google Cloud and Google advertising tools delivered $45 billion of economic activity for Canadian businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators, and developers in 2022.
  • In 2022, more than 2.1 million Canadian businesses received phone calls, requests for directions, messages, bookings, reviews and other direct connections to their customers from Google.
  • contributed $5.53 million to Canadian non-profits last year, looking to expand inclusive economic opportunity, contribute to furthering digital literacy and help tackle cultural and sustainability issues at scale through funding of organizations such as ComIT, MediaSmarts, Indigenous Screen Office, Actua, and Oceans North.
  • In total, we estimate that Google Cloud is saving 120 million business hours for the Canadian economy each year. This is equivalent to at least $7.5 billion a year in business time savings for the Canadian economy.
  • In 2022, the Google Ad Grants program provided more than $120 million in donated advertising to nonprofits across Canada.

AI: The next tech frontier

As Google celebrates its 25th birthday this year, we’re looking ahead to the next big shift for technology, which brings us to AI. Of course, Google’s core platforms have long been powered by AI. We were one of the first companies to use machine learning in our products and we became an “AI first” company in 2015. This technology offers radical potential for exponential growth, and Google is working to help Canada fully realize AI’s economic potential.

In today’s Economic Impact Report released by Public First, we found that generative AI could increase the economy of Canada by $210 billion, the equivalent of 8% of Gross Value Added (GVA). In fact, generative AI alone could save the average Canadian worker over 100 hours a year, which would be the single biggest improvement to worker productivity since the arrival of Google Search.

Google is excited about the economic potential this new technology can offer Canadians and Canadian businesses, as well as the improvements to the country’s sustainability, productivity and quality of living. We are just beginning to see what this next wave of technology is capable of and there is no country better positioned to embrace this new AI frontier.

Read Google’s full Canadian Economic Impact report here.