Background

Just like electricity, artificial intelligence is becoming a part of everyone’s daily life. Finland wants to be one the frontrunners in this development. Therefore an operational programme is under preparation, with the aim of turning Finland into a leading country in the application of artificial intelligence.

The work was launched on 18 May 2017, commissioned by Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. In connection with this, five tasks were specified for the Artificial Intelligence Programme:

 

  1. To generate a snapshot of the current status and prospects for AI and robotics around the world and in Finland.
  2. To propose a goal state, which Finland should strive to achieve in the application of AI in collaboration with companies, research institutes, educational institutions and public organizations.
  3. To enter a proposal on measures the implementation of which is necessary in order to achieve the stated objectives. Special attention must be given to the field’s innovation activities, preparedness for changes to working life, increasing education and upgrading the qualifications of those in the labour market.
  4. To draw up a model for the implementation of the plan that will ensure the efficient realisation of the operational programme.
  5. To prepare a proposal for the expansion of the working group’s task description and composition, so as to allow it to develop the measures necessary for the promotion of AI in the long-term and analyse the more broad-scoped societal change related to digitalisation and provide proposals for solutions to the Government.

A steering group was set up to implement the work and Pekka Ala-Pietilä was invited to chair the group. The group’s first interim report was published in October 2017.

The Artificial Intelligence Programme is anticipated to be completed in April 2019.

Objectives

How can we ensure that Finland becomes one of the frontrunners among countries that apply artificial intelligence?

At the end of May 2017, Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä tasked a working group, which he had appointed, with answering this question. The special nature of the task is that it requires consideration of measures reaching far into the future and at the same time measures that are relevant today. The scope of the report is also exceptionally broad: the conclusions will have an impact on the whole of society.

The working group summed up its assignment into four questions:

  1. How can the public and private sectors best work to ensure that companies receive adequate support for the production of AI-based innovations?
  2. How can data-driven businesses benefit from the secondary use of the public sector’s information resources?
  3. How will AI affect us as individuals and what will be its impact on the future of work? What will be its wider impact on society? What types of measures are required from the public sector as we move towards the age of AI?
  4. The working group has published its first interim report containing eight key actions which will take Finland towards the age of AI. This is the first stage in ongoing work that will hopefully extend over several years.

We are only now beginning to understand the importance AI will have in regard to wellbeing for Finland. We are also just beginning to determine what actions we will need to implement in order to reach our objectives.

Participate in the discussion on this website, social media (#aiera) and get involved in identifying more measures. Together, we are Taking Finland into the age of AI.

The project is the responsibility of

Steering group preparing the Artificial Intelligence Programme

Chair

  • Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Chairman of the Board, Huhtamaki Oyj

Deputy chair

  • Ilona Lundström, Director General, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Members

  • Ilkka Kivimäki, equity investor, Research and Innovation Council member
  • Jyrki Nurmi, Senior Vice President, Valmet Automotive Oyj
  • Merja Fischer, CEO, Leadership Akatemia
  • Jukka Ryhänen, Managing Director, Finland, Combient Ab
  • Sonja Ängeslevä, Product Lead, Zynga
  • Samuel Kaski, Academy Professor, Aalto University
  • Antti Vasara, CEO, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Oy
  • Taina Kulmala, Head of Unit, Prime Minister’s Office

Secretariat

  • Jussi Nissilä, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Kalle Kantola, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Mika Klemettinen, Business Finland
  • Lasse Laitinen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Olli Koski, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Aleksi Kopponen, Ministry of Finance
  • Maikki Sipinen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Programme's sub-groups

A steering group has been appointed to prepare the National Artificial Intelligence Programme, which is chaired by Pekka Ala-Pietilä.

However, right from the start of the preparation of the Artificial Intelligence Programme it was clear that wisdom does not exist in one committee, discussion club or working group alone. Therefore the steering group of the Artificial Intelligence Programme invited a host of helpers to join its work from the very beginning. Four sub-groups were established to support the work of the steering group.

Expertise and innovations

Chair Mika Vehviläinen, Cargotec

The expertise and innovations sub-group will investigate how to support enterprise-led innovations related to AI and how to ensure that their objectives understand the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence. The sub-group will also investigate how the opportunities offered by AI in various sectors can be turned into tangible opportunities and will then help businesses utilise these opportunities.

Data and platform economy

Chair Kimmo Alkio, Tieto

The benefits offered by AI can be best utilised through digital platforms where data is a key raw material. Data can be used to produce services that better meet the individual needs of citizens and businesses in an anticipatory way. The sub-group will attempt to find out how to promote the construction and use of data resources in all sectors.

Transformation of society and work

Chair Osmo Soininvaara

How will work and the labour market be transformed and what kinds of changes will need to be made to expertise and legislation? What other types of social changes will AI bring with it? This sub-group led by Osmo Soininvaara will look into these questions.

Ethics

Chair Meeri Haataja, Saidot.ai

The ethics sub-group will aim to gain an understanding of the multidimensional ethical perspectives of AI to ensure that Finland’s artificial intelligence development is human-oriented and based on trust. The group will create concrete mechanisms and operating models for application by various parties and will encourage individuals and organisations to engage in open discussion about the ethics of AI.