Working group: Eight key actions for making Finland a top country in artificial intelligence

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 23.10.2017 10.00
Press release
Working group: Eight key actions for making Finland a top country in artificial intelligence

A steering group examining the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in Finland submitted today its first interim report to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. Research indicates that Finland ranks second after the United States among 12 developed economies in terms of the potential of AI to grow the economy.

Factors explaining Finland’s ranking include the industrial structure, the industry's emphasis on investment products, the degree of digitalisation in the public sector, and the high level of education.

“In Finland we want to be one of the best countries in the world to apply artificial intelligence. We also have the potential to reach that goal. However, we need to make conscious decisions to deploy artificial intelligence and enforce our decisions efficiently. The report and recommendations now published by the steering group I appointed give us the first steps in the right direction,” says Minister Lintilä.

“It is important that both individuals and society keep up with new developments. We Finns need to pull together and try to understand and find solutions for harnessing the potential of the artificial intelligence revolution. Its effects will be on par with how electricity changed the world in the 20th century,” the Minister says.

The report lists 8 key actions for taking Finland towards the age of AI:

1. Enhancement of business competitiveness through the use of AI
2. Effective utilisation of data in all sectors
3. Ensure AI can be adopted more quickly and easily
4. Ensure top-level expertise and attract top experts
5. Make bold decisions and investments
6. Build the world’s best public services
7. Establish new models for collaboration
8. Make Finland a frontrunner in the age of AI

“Finland’s first steps towards the age of artificial intelligence involve the creation of separate networks for each of the eight key actions, and possibly for new actions determined later. Alternatively, the work can continue in existing networks or in collaboration with higher education institutions and research institutes,” says Pekka Ala-Pietilä, chair of the AI steering group.

“We will also invite a wide spectrum of stakeholders to discuss what it means to have more artificial intelligence and robotics in society, what we expect from them, and what issues the policy-makers should consider more closely. Later on we will be organising different kinds of events and workshops across Finland to bring artificial intelligence closer to people’s everyday life,” Ala-Pietilä says.

It is possible to sign up for the networks and participate in the citizens’ online workshop at www.tekoalyaika.fi.

On 18 May 2017, Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä appointed a steering group to examine how to make Finland one of the world’s top countries to deploy artificial intelligence. The group’s task was to identify the most important long-term and short-term measures in different sectors of society. The steering group will submit its final report in April 2019 and after that the work will continue in the AI networks.

Read more about the measures in Finland’s artificial intelligence programme: www.tekoalyaika.fi

Inquiries:
Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Chair of the steering group, Huhtamäki Plc, tel. +358 10 686 7885
Ilona Lundström, Vice-Chair of the steering group, Director-General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 46 9202 344
Jukka Ihanus, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel.+358 50 463 9929