Key proposals for action
In May 2017, the Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä stated his goal of turning Finland into a leading country in the application of artificial intelligence and appointed a steering group to prepare a proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Programme for Finland. The report describes the results achieved during the programme period and provides a basis for the next stage, which will be the
responsibility of the next Government and the network involved in the programme work. The aim is to prepare Finland for the age of artificial intelligence and make it into a nation that is competitive and able to attract talent, has the most relevantly educated population and where citizens are well-informed and independent.
The programme and its networks have taken Finland towards the age of artificial intelligence through the following 11 key actions:
- Enhance business competitiveness through the use of AI
- Effectively utilise data in all sectors
- Ensure that AI can be adopted more quickly and easily
- Ensure top-level expertise and attract top experts
- Make bold decisions and investments
- Build the world’s best public services
- Establish new models for collaboration
- Make Finland a forerunner in the age of artificial intelligence
- Prepare for artificial intelligence to change the nature of work
- Steer AI development into a trust-based, human-centric direction
- Prepare for security challenges
It is essential to establish close cooperation between public and private sectors in the work to promote digitalisation of business operations and the use of AI as we are building a competitive Finland able to attract talent. This allows us to find effective ways to boost innovation inputs, build workable cooperation models, develop incentive-oriented regulation, enhance business competence and promote talent in a broad range of sectors.
In order to make Finland into the most relevantly educated nation, we need a lifelong learning reform. This allows us to meet the substantial continuing
education needs arising with the age of artificial intelligence by relying on such factors as the changes in the education system and the division of responsibilities arising from the updating of professional skills. At the same time, artificial intelligence and digitalisation should be extensively incorporated into a broad range of different educational programmes.
Strong inputs by the public sector in the development of services enabled by artificial intelligence and technological advances in general are required to allow well-informed and independent citizens to influence developments. This will also contribute to private-sector services and the renewal of the public-sector service structure. At the same time, there should also be an active discussion between different societal actors on how artificial intelligence can be applied in a human-centric and trust-generating manner for the benefit of well-informed and independent citizens.
The following key measures should be introduced during the next 12 months:
Clarify the rules of how data is used, from the perspective of companies, society and users. Provide support for the use of data by means of legislation, agreements and self-regulation of industries.
Support the development of significant testbeds and international cooperation. Integrate the operations as part of the Finnish Digital Innovation Hub network.
Recognise the business potential of different types of ecosystems and the B2B market and develop solutions for using data in them.
Continue AI accelerator style operations based on the lessons learned and seek opportunities to expand the operations.
Ensure Finland’s ability to secure major strategic investments in AI and RDI investments in competences.
On the basis of the experiences gained, create an extensive provision of online courses for those in working life, which would provide an opportunity for the adult population to supplement and renew their competences.
Explore whether every Finn in working age could be provided with a learning voucher or account, which would create a well-functioning adult education market in Finland.
Ensure human-centric introduction of artificial intelligence and the implementation of ethical principles in the public sector through the AuroraAI project.
Encourage companies and public-sector actors to introduce ethical self- regulation and to share best practices.
Introduce the digital economy, founded on artificial intelligence, data and platform economy, as one of the key themes of Finland’s EU Presidency.
Monitor how the implementation of the Artificial Intelligence Programme’s objectives is advancing. The responsibility for the monitoring should belong to a monitoring group with representatives from both the private and public sectors or a broader cooperation forum promoting the digitalisation of business.