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Prime Minister Sipilä aspiring to make Finland world leader in artificial intelligence

Government Communications Department
Publication date 7.2.2017 14.12 | Published in English on 8.2.2017 at 10.41
Press release 55/2017

On Tuesday 7 February, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä spoke in a seminar held at the House of Estates about the opportunities that artificial intelligence have to offer Finland. The Prime Minister observed that artificial intelligence is one of the fastest growing global technologies. Its impact in the future will be enormous. Sipilä believes we need a vision: Making Finland the world leader in artificial intelligence.

The Prime Minister said that making effective use of AI in society and using it to boost wellbeing will require not only new competences but also novel approaches, forward-thinking decisions and frameworks, and an adaptive labour market.

‘The development and use of artificial intelligence has so far relied on a relatively narrow base. Now, though, we are firmly seeking to broaden this base. The first step is to expand our understanding of the opportunities for AI’, said Sipilä.

According to the Prime Minister, the next step is to initiate discussions throughout country and set to work. ‘Alongside all this we will be seeking to ensure that the legislation can enable effective measures. Trials, pilot schemes and platforms will need to be adjusted continuously. The Transport Code is a good example of this. Political decision-makers, too, will need to get used to this and learn from it. The Nordic countries are ready to do this. These countries must together create a sufficiently large market area for the new products. And Finland must show the way,’ the Prime Minister noted.

Sipilä observed that we should also devise artificial intelligence applications that speak and understand Finnish and Swedish. ‘This is, of course, an unconditional requirement for our digital services. That is one of our challenges for the future.’

The Prime Minister’s Office organised a seminar on 7 February together with the Äly On Tekoja (“Intelligence Is Deeds”) project which is putting together a Finnish collaboration forum on artificial intelligence. The project is part of the Centenary of Finland’s Independence programme. Artificial intelligence is one of the themes in the preparation of the Government foresight report that is concerned with the transformation of work and future.

Further information about the seminar: Seminar on artificial intelligence sounds out Finland’s future, Government Communications Department Press Release 1 February 2017 

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