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Samuel Kaski receives major international funding for the development of AI methods

Aalto University Professor Samuel Kaski has been awarded the Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowship to establish a new center of excellence. The funding relates to Kaski’s work at the University of Manchester, but Finnish research on modeling user intent will also benefit.
Samuel Kaski
Samuel Kaski will continue to work part-time at Aalto. Image: Kalle Kataila / Aalto University

Samuel Kaski, Aalto University professor and director of the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI, has received the Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowship. With the funding, a new center of excellence in the field of AI research is to be founded.

Kaski divides his time between Aalto University and the University of Manchester. He receives the Turing-funding from UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) in his role at the latter. The funding covers the work of a research group for five years. The new project involves multiple partners, among others Aalto, the coordinating institution of FCAI.

”UK is extremely strong in AI, and already a central partner for me, FCAI and therefore also for Aalto. This funding will enable even stronger collaboration, which will directly advance also Finnish AI research.”

In practice, the new funding will strengthen the line of research already at the center of FCAI. The new research unit will develop AI that can help people define and specify the goals that they want to steer AI to strive towards. Especially medical research breakthroughs are believed to benefit from this work.

A similar objective is central to FCAI, which has defined the development of AI-assisted decision-making, design and modeling as its joint methodological goal.

“This is as compatible to FCAI research as possible, in its objectives and collaboration possibilities”, Kaski describes the new project. 

”Developing this kind of AI is a major challenge and all now received investments and partners are needed. And there is room for more.”

Kaski says that the award also affirms his belief that FCAI is on the right track.

”While excellent ideas coming from individual researchers are extremely important, to create attractive research clusters, we also need a focus. This is what we at FCAI have been building in Finland, and now, through the new collaboration possibilities, it will get even stronger.”

Kaski wants to send his warmest thanks to his research group, and welcomes future members aboard. 

The Fellowship is an exceptional award even for a seasoned professor.

”For a researcher who aims for new discoveries, positive feedback is a rare treat – instead, it is very common to hear that an idea is bad or a direction wrong. An acknowledgement is heartwarming also for an experienced researcher.”

Kaski will continue as a part-time professor at Aalto and as the director of FCAI. In Manchester, he works as the research director of the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology Research.

The Turing Artificial Intelligence World-Leading Researcher Fellowships were now given out for the first time. The funding was given to five researchers. Kaski’s UKRI funding amounts to a good 5 million euros, in addition to which the University of Manchester and partners will be providing over 10 million euros.

Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence

The Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI is a research hub initiated by Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, and the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT. The goal of FCAI is to develop new types of artificial intelligence that can work with humans in complex environments, and help modernize Finnish industry. FCAI is one of the national flagships of the Academy of Finland.

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