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42 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 When Canadian artificial intelligence com- pany Darwin AI was founded in 2017, machine learning and deep learning were still relatively new terms. In the past five years, CEO Sheldon Fernandez and his team have been working with this technology to develop some founda- tional IP to simplify implementation. About a year ago, Sheldon took a "part happenstance, part deliberate" opportunity to develop a ver- tical offering for EMS manufacturing. Here's what happened. Sheldon, it's nice to meet you. Would you briefly introduce your company? Sheldon Fernandez: We're based out of Water- loo, Ontario, Canada, and we're organically connected to the University of Waterloo, which is kind of like Canada's MIT. Two of our co-founders are professors at the institution, including Professor Alexander Wong, Canada's Research Chair in AI and Medical Imaging. We've been working on foundational machine learning and deep learning technol- ogy for the past five years. A couple of years ago, our large industrial and aerospace clients were telling us about their supply chain chal- lenges during the pandemic and reshoring sen- sitive electronics manufacturing work back to North America, specifically printed circuit Darwin AI: Evolving the Islands of Automation

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