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News, 13/11/2018

High-level AI Seminar at the Embassy of Finland in London

The Embassy of Finland in London organized a seminar on the future prospects and challenges of artificial intelligence on 30th October at the residence of Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen. The objective of the event was to shed light to Finnish and British expertise in AI and AI’s impacts on policy, research and business. It also aimed to enhance the co-operation between the two countries and different sectors in the field of AI.Kuvassa Risto Siilasmaa, Suurlähettiläs Päivi Luostarinen ja Pekka Ala-Pietilä.

From left to right: Risto Siilasmaa, Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen and Pekka Ala-Pietilä

Ambassador Luostarinen highlighted that artificial intelligence is a field where active European co-operation is needed. “We wish to foster topics around artificial intelligence in the UK also next year during Finland’s EU presidency, and it is important that the co-operation continues also after Brexit”, the Ambassador said.

EU’s Competitiveness and the Ethics of AI

One of the keynote speakers at the seminar was the Chair of Nokia, Risto Siilasmaa. According to Mr Siilasmaa, it is every citizen’s duty to understand the basics of AI since it will shape the world so profoundly in the future. "AI will create immense value but to whom? Europe has not been rolling out this technology very rapidly. China is faster on adopting AI. It's not centrally rolled out, but it's being done entrepreneurially”, stated Mr Siilasmaa.

Chair of the EU’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLG), Pekka Ala-Pietilä also emphasized that EU needs to increase investing in AI, which will in turn increase the competitiveness. According to Mr Ala-Pietilä, the US and China are at the moment investing in AI approximately eight times more than Europe. Europe’s strengths in the field of AI can lie in solving ethical questions of AI. EU’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence is currently preparing a proposal for ethical guidelines for the use of AI. The work will be finished by the end of the year. The group will also make a proposal for the AI competitiveness strategy for EU. High-Level Expert Group on AI, set by the European Commission, has 52 experts from across industry, business and civil society.

Andy Shields, Director of Digital and Tech Policy at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, spoke about strategic goals British government has regarding artificial intelligence. The UK, like Finland, aims to become one of the leading countries in the field of AI. According to Mr Shields, the UK government has recognised AI’s great societal potential, especially in the field of healthcare.

Equality and AI

In her key note, Professor Maja Pantic from Imperial College London brought up the equality issues in artificial intelligence. Professor Pantic told that women are a clear minority in the field of AI, which means that there are significant resources that have not been capitalized. “One issue I try to fight is gender inequality. We have so few females in the world of AI. We should also be concerned about who owns the data in the future”, said Professor Pantic.

At the event Professor Petri Myllymäki (Vice-Director of the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI), Adrian Weller (Programme Director for AI at The Alan Turing Institute), Phil Harvey (Cloud Solution Architect for Data & AI in Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner UK), Maria Ritola (Co-Founder of Iris AI) and Tuomas Syrjänen (Chief AI Officer and Co-Founder of Futurice) also shared their insights and expertise.

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Updated 14/11/2018

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