AI Forum 2018

Artificial intelligence is transforming our world, society and industry. Ongoing fierce international competition requires a shared vision of Europe that is competitive in the age of artificial intelligence – while building on its strengths and values. How do we ensure that Europe remains competitive in the age of artificial intelligence?

We created AI Forum 2018 as a platform for discussing AI with political leaders, policy makers, experts, entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Our aim is to bring together a group with influence and broad view on business, economy, society and emerging technologies. The AI Forum will take place in Espoo on 8–9 October 2018.


AI Forum 2018 has been initiated by Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland, Mr. Mika Lintilä as Finland prepares to its EU Council Presidency in 2019.

European Union’s approach and coordinated action plan on AI is currently being defined. In the recent Communication on Artificial Intelligence for Europe, the Commission proposes development of European approach to make the most out of AI. The recently appointed High Level Group on AI will advise the Commission on AI related matters. In Finland, the work on national AI Programme has been in full speed for over a year and the strategic measures have been implemented for the last eight months.

Hosts and participants

AI Forum 2018 is co-hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland and the European Commission. Participants of the conference include:

  • Mr. Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland
  • Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
  • Mr. Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
  • EU Member State Ministers responsible for AI, such as Competitiveness or Telecommunications Ministers
  • Selected European Industry leaders
  • European Commission’s High-Level Group on Artificial Intelligence
  • Member State Representatives in European Commission’s Digitazing European Industries
  • Hand-picked AI Experts


The Forum will start on Monday evening, 8 October 2018 with meetings and dinner.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018 morning will start with Plenary Sessions focusing on issues such as

  • EU, China, USA – the global race for AI: How does European development and application of AI differ from the other regions? How can Europe lead the way while building on its strengths and values?
  • Tech unicorns born in Europe: How might we create an environment that would support European success stories built on new AI powered business models? How do we ensure possibilities for growth in AI era Europe?

After the Plenaries, the participants will continue the discussion and dig deeper into selected thematical areas. These are arranged in the form of Round Tables to allow more intimate exchange of ideas between different stakeholder groups present at the Forum.

The Round Table discussions will include topics such as

  • Skills and Education in the Era of AI
  • AI Ethics
  • Future of Work
  • AI and Public Sector

The afternoon programme consists of a Ministerial Meeting with focus on reskilling and upskilling for AI era.


The venue of the conference is Dipoli, main building of Aalto University. Similarly to the Forum’s core idea of bringing different stakeholders together, Aalto University was formed as universities of business, technology and art joined forces. Besides its cross-disciplinary founding, Aalto is a great example of Finland’s experience in education and research. Aalto Design Factory, Aalto Ventures Program and Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (Aaltoes), among others, drive the university’s mission for a radical shift towards multidisciplinary learning and have contributed substantially to the emergence of Helsinki region as a hot-bed for startups.


Plenary sessions are open for the media whereas the Ministerial Meeting and Round Tables are for private discussions only. A press conference will be arranged during AI Forum 2018 as well as a Press Corner, where participating Ministers are welcome to interact with international media on a rolling basis. Invitations for the media will be sent separately.