At Aalto University's alumni seminar on International Women's Day 8.3., artificial intelligence was the topic of discussion. A breakfast seminar was arranged at A Grid, the startup hub of Aalto University in Otaniemi, and was attended by approximately 150 alumni. In the morning, the audience heard about practical applications of artificial intelligence, as experts in the field from the corporate world, the Artificial Intelligence programme of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as well as Aalto University gave talks.
The main speaker, Deputy Country General Manager of IBM Finland Kaija Sellman, asked why artificial intelligence has come into play.
‘Everything starts from the data that is everywhere and which we should be able to utilise. The majority of this data is completely unstructured, such as pictures. With artificial intelligence, it is possible to capture this for use. It should be kept in mind, though, that while artificial intelligence is useful, responsibility for using the data belongs to the decision maker,’ Sellman said. ‘Artificial intelligence is taught with examples and the best teachers are required. In general, the use of artificial intelligence is a full time cognitive activity, in other words, continuous learning.’
Kaija Sellman talked about IBM Watson artificial intelligence, which has been used, for example, in the health and well-being sector. ‘In a cloud-based system, the memory rule “URLI” materialises. In other words, it understands (Understand) what it reads and sees, makes conclusions (Reason), learns continually (Learn) and communicates this to a person in clear terms (Interact).’
Artificial intelligence should be connected to everyday life, said the panellists
After the main talk, a panel consisting of Aalto University’s alumni talked about their ideas on artificial intelligence. The panellists were Head of Research Strategic Support Ella Bingham from Aalto University, Business Manager, Software Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Merja Fischer from Staria, Director, Financial Intelligence, Meeri Haataja from OP Financial Group, Managing Director Ulla Kruhse-Lehtonen from DAIN Studios and Specialist, Artificial Intelligence Maikki Sipinen from Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The moderator was Business Designer Ilmi Salminen from Reaktor.
The panellists stated that this is the fourth industrial revolution and artificial intelligence is like new electricity. It is worth investing in because of its potential for societal impact. It is important to get the data utilised in order to develop products and services facilitating daily life, and export Finnish expertise abroad. Things should be done together, not in silos. Merja Fischer and Maikki Sipinen tipped that it is worth reading the report Finland’s Age of Artificial Intelligence which throws light on the future of Finland as country of artificial intelligence. It also lists the eight keys for taking Finland towards the age of artificial intelligence.
Ulla Kruhse-Lehtonen stated that Google, Facebook and Amazon are all artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence has no morality, but we teach systems to it. It is worth thinking about the rules, as there is a lot of information on many of us in social media, for example, that can be used in many ways.
‘Aalto trains experts and our engineers are developing applications and theory that are passed on for the benefit of companies. Girls, too, should be inspired already in primary schools to do mathematics,’ said Ella Bingham. As a summary of the panel, the experts concluded that artificial intelligence should be more closely linked with daily life. In any case, artificial intelligence will help us with things we already do.
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Presentation and panel discussion on Aalto University Youtube channel (In Finnish):
Artificial Intelligence: Watson as a collegue - Kaija Sellman, IBM
Artificial Intelligence: panel discussion in the alumni seminar 8.3.2018