Tech reporting

Google launches AI chatbot Gemini in Canada after long delay

Google Inc. has launched its AI chatbot in Canada after a delay tied to the company’s standoff with Ottawa over online news.

On Thursday the search giant expanded the rollout of Gemini, formerly known as Bard, to Canada after excluding Canadian users from its chatbot’s “biggest expansion” – to more than 230 countries, in more than 40 languages – in July. Canadians can now access Gemini in both English and Québécois French.

“Our team in Canada was still working to find a constructive resolution

Pok Pok app provides a ‘non-addictive’ virtual experience for young children

When Esther Huybreghts and husband Mathijs Demaeght began developing Pok Pok in 2019, the new parents were aiming for an app that would both entertain and stimulate their toddler creatively.

“There was nothing on the market that could give our kid both,” says Ms. Huybreghts, chief creative officer and co-founder of the Toronto-based kids educational app company.

The iOS app, which launched in May, 2021, features “digital toys” for children aged 2 to 7 and was created with Montessori principles

4AG Robotics raises $17.5-million in financing for mushroom-harvesting robots

Mushroom farms in Canada are taking on new workers: robots.

Salmon Arm, B.C.-based 4AG Robotics develops fully automated solutions for mushroom harvesting in Canada and globally, and has raised $17.5-million in equity financing to further its quest. The company’s chief executive, Sean O’Connor, says the company’s name – pronounced “forage” – reflects its novel focus.

The equity financing is led by the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, a $250-million fund

Alberta moves to legalize use of ‘software engineer’ title, ending lengthy battle between regulators, tech firms

The government of Alberta is moving to legalize the use of the title “software engineer” for technology companies, ending a lengthy battle between regulators and tech companies in the province.

The move was welcomed by the tech industry, which has been lobbying to be able to use the term.

Bill 7, a proposal to amend the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, which was tabled on Monday, would allow tech companies to use the “software engineer” title to attract and retain talent.

“We’re gl