Alberta's professional, scientific and technical services were affected by the decline in oil prices. Low corporate profits and consumer confidence reduced spending on legal, consulting, and accounting services. However, as oil production has improved and the province works to diversify its economy, there are more opportunities for the industry and employment in the industry has risen.
Digital innovations in everything from 3D printing and virtual or augmented reality to faster mobile networks have offered tech savvy professionals new employment opportunities. A case in point was Google’s 2017 announcement that its artificial intelligence research division, called DeepMind, would open a research lab in Edmonton in partnership with the University of Alberta. Artificial intelligence is when machines are designed to perceive or gather information and to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.