Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Finland displays strong credentials in AI research

16 Jan 2019, 17:29 ( 3 Months ago) | updated: 16 Jan 2019, 17:43 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
3D printed shaft with sensing element and wiring. Photo VTT by Antti Vaajoki.

A government commissioned survey on Finnish capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) on Tuesday concluded that Finland is a strong country/region in AI capabilities "with a view to its size".

The research positioned Finland between South Korea and Austria, ranking Finland as 17th in the world. The survey reminded though that the share of Finnish scientific publications about AI is only 0.5 percent.

In its list of international rankings based on academic publications, the survey ranked Hong Kong SAR as the world leader followed by Singapore and Australia.

The survey was compiled by representatives of the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), Aalto University, research institute ETLA and the Helsinki-based private AI lab "Silo.AI".

The group warned that if Finland does not increase local input into AI and its applications, Finland will decline in international comparisons. This would mean that people with AI knowledge will increasingly emigrate to get more interesting and better paid jobs.

The group suggested that companies and public administration could start testing the decision-making power of AI.

Heikki Ailisto, professor of VTT, said in a written statement that currently the progress in Finland is being slowed down through waiting for decisions-in-principle about whether algorithms with a learning capability can be given  power to make decisions on major issues.

However, Ailisto said, "clear and generally accepted answers to the big questions" cannot be expected and therefore the situation "freezes development". He urged that AI methods could be used in small tasks that have no major ethical or legal problems.

"Even though we would not allow a car without a driver to travel alone from northern Rovaniemi to Helsinki, a car could move slowly alone from the parking lot of a shopping mall to the entrance where someone is waiting for it."