Talking point: Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains spent a good part of the day with leading AI researcher Yoshua Bengio. Yesterday, Bains announced $5 million in federal funding for Bengio’s company, Element AI. Earlier this week, Bengio reached out to the minister’s office to ask for help getting Black in AI conference attendees to its Montreal conference, which starts tomorrow. Conference organizer Timnit Gebru told The Logic that more than half of the 230 speakers and presenters that were supposed to present have been unable to due to visa issues. Bains office promised to help; some issues have since been processed. It’s too late now, though, as last-minute flights are prohibitively expensive, causing Black in AI organizers to cancel flights and hotel rooms.