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Expert panel: What opportunities will the advances in artificial intelligence offer Finland?

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
14.3.2019 14.04
News item

The Artificial Intelligence Programme report published today on 14 March 2019 presents, in addition to the programme findings, the recommendations of nine distinguished international specialists.

Retain talent 

Competition for skilled experts is fierce. Sufficient action has not been taken in Europe and Finland to deal with this issue. Finland needs to not only retain current talent but also to attract more highly skilled artificial intelligence specialists to Finland. This also applies to future talent, in other words students.

Invest in B2B activities

Artificial intelligence is only making its way to the B2B markets. Finland is well equipped to succeed in these markets, provided it invests in its strengths, which include AI technologies for industrial solutions such as unsupervised learning and hybrid approaches, and a strong focus on industrial B2B business. This development stage provides a good fit with Finland’s industry base, and offers significant potential for the Finnish society and economy.

Respect democracy and the principles of freedom

An approach must be identified in Finland and in Europe that respects the principles of Western democracy and freedom while at the same time permitting businesses, consumers and public organisations to benefit from AI-based technologies.  Solutions based on artificial intelligence should be seen as a way of reinventing society and increasing citizens’ participation in decision-making and democratic processes.

Artificial intelligence is more than technology

It is important to bear in mind that technology only provides tools for implementing new business models and better public services. Before any solutions can be implemented, user acceptance is required.

Embrace the free mobility of data

How useful artificial intelligence is depends largely on the availability of data. Bringing in meaningful data from multiple sources will improve the results dramatically. Therefore, we should break down silos within and between businesses and public services whenever possible, and permit the free mobility of data.

These recommendations are based on interviews with AI specialists. The panel of specialist was interviewed by Samuel Kaski, Academy Professor at the Aalto University; Heikki Ailisto, Research Professor and Director of the Finnish Center of Artificial Intelligence (FCAI); and Arho Suominen, Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. They also prepared this summary.


Jussi Nissilä, Head of Development, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 052
Maikki Sipinen, Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 013

The international specialist panel interviewed

  • Christian Guttmann, Vice President, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence & Data Science, Tieto, Executive Director, Nordic Artificial Intelligence Institute, Sweden. Professor (adj. assoc.), University of New South Wales, Australia. Senior Researcher, Karolinska Institute, Sweden 
  • Gesche Joost, Professor for Design Research at the Berlin University of the Arts, Head of the Design Research Lab, Germany
  • Doina Precup, Research Team Leader, DeepMind and Associate Professor, McGill University, Canada
  • Michele Sebag, Professor, Deputy director of Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, Head of A O team, CNRS, France
  • John Shawe-Taylor, Professor, Head of Department of Computer Science, University College London, UK
  • Jim Spohrer, Director, Cognitive OpenTech at IBM, California, USA
  • Masashi Sugiyama, Director of RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, Japan and Professor for Machine learning and statistical data analysis at the Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, the University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Volker Tresp, Professor for Machine learning at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Distinguished Research Scientist at Siemens, Germany
  • Harri Valpola, CEO, Founder, Curious AI, Finland
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