Timanttiteko award for 2021 granted to Foreign Ministry’s data analytics experiment
The Security Committee has granted its 2021 Timanttiteko (Diamond Act) award to the Foreign Ministry’s AI-assisted data analytics experiment. According to the Security Committee, the project has been exemplary in implementing the objectives of the Security Strategy for Society.
The Foreign Ministry's project focused on analysing the discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic and migration, held on various social media platforms. Aiwo is an AI-assisted tool, which uses qualitative analytics for modelling materials. The project’s technology partner was Aiwo Digital Oy.
The tool is capable of analysing large amounts of information in real time. The analytics give information on what is being discussed on social media platforms at a given time and notice changes in the topics of discussion. By means of monitoring such data, it is easier to build foresight scenarios, to improve the authorities’ situational awareness and thus to prevent dangerous situations and accidents. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early March 2020, the tool analysed more than nine million messages.
“We are happy for this award. The data analytics experiment can be replicated for the analytical needs of other ministries and agencies, too. The service is also quickly scalable for a larger number of users, which is an advantage in rapidly developing crises,” says Pasi Tuominen, Director General of Consular Services at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Chair of the Security Committee, Permanent Secretary Esa Pulkkinen at the Ministry of Defence, stresses the importance of the experiment, especially at a time like this when Finns are active on social media.
“The Ministry’s project offers an innovative and fast tool to the authorities for responding to discussions in society. This is particularly important from the point of view of the functions vital to society, which include leadership and psychological crisis resilience. The project has supported the authorities in their work in rapidly developing situations and helped the central government in decision-making and management.”
The Security Committee grants the Timanttiteko award once a year to a project that promotes security in society in an exemplary way. Proposals can be made by the National Emergency Supply Agency and different ministries. The Security Committee follows developments in Finland’s security environment and society, and coordinates proactive preparedness related to comprehensive security. It assists the Government and the ministries in extensive matters relevant to comprehensive security.
Granting the Timanttiteko award is coordinated by State Security Networks, whose core task is to safeguard critical communications and management of society in all circumstances. Timo Lehtimäki, CEO of the State Security Networks, considers that granting the award to the Foreign Ministry’s data analytics experiment is a significant gesture.
“This time, the winner of the award is also master of the digital transformation contest among security actors. Computers should not serve only as electronic typewriters with processors just twirling around. The data analytics experiment is a great example of how a computer is harnessed to work in the right manner. It burns tirelessly round the clock and frees up people’s time for other work,” Lehtimäki describes.
“I hope that this project will not remain just a pilot but that we realise how to learn from its lessons and make use of it when responding to future challenges faced by security actors.”
This is the 14th time the award was granted. In 2020, the recipient was the National Cyber Security Centre.