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Finland wants to be world’s number one in artificial intelligence

Samuel Kaski, Professor in Machine Learning, who participated in Prime Minister Sipilä’s panel on artificial intelligence likes the challenge.
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In the seminar that he had convened to the House of the Estates on 7 February, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä talked about the opportunities artificial intelligence provides for Finland. The Prime Minister noted that artificial intelligence is one of the fastest growing global technologies and its impacts will be massive. According to the Prime Minister, we need a vision: Making Finland the world leader in artificial intelligence.

‘Seminar participants considered artificial intelligence so important for Finland that the government must grab the opportunity immediately and commit to its central role beyond one government’s agenda. The transformation brought about by AI is already happening, and awareness of this has started to spread in the society. Still, as Risto Siilasmaa, one of the panelists, said, the speed of exponential growth such as growth of artificial intelligence will always surprise us,’ says Samuel Kaski, Professor at the Department of Computer Science, who also participated in the panel. 

Artificial intelligence is a broad field in which especially machine learning and algorithms are important. Data science and data mining are also closely related. Finland and Aalto University have a long research tradition and strong current research in these fields.

‘We have by no means waited idly in research. In contrast, artificial intelligence is a central topic. Now that the Finnish government and the top brass of companies are aware of the importance of artificial intelligence, Finland has a chance of taking swift action. We are ready to take on the challenge on our part,’ Kaski says in the end. 

In addition to Kaski, the artificial intelligence panellists included Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, Director Matti Apunen (Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA), Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen (National Board of Education), Research Director Mikko Hyppönen (F-Secure), Chair Antti Palola (Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK), Social Democratic Party Chair Antti Rinne, Research Director Anna Ronkainen (TrademarkNow), Chairman of the Board Risto Siilasmaa (Nokia), Executive Director Sari Stenfors (Augmented Leadership) and CEO Harri Valpola (CuriousAI).

Photo: Laura Kotila/Valtioneuvoston kanslia

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