The'City to City Digital Declaration', signed by the cities' Chief Digital Officers – London's Theo Blackwell and Helsinki's Mikko Rusama – sets out several new areas of collaboration between the two capitals, including: Both cities have recently set out their smart city plans and both have a strong technology community. More than a third of all Europe's tech giants are based in London and contribute over £56 billion to the UK's economy. Helsinki produces almost 50 per cent of the tech sector's turnover in Finland – more than half of the country's IT companies are based in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The partner cities say they are now keen to share best practices and expertise in order to meet social, environmental and economic challenges. London's Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said: "London has made huge advances in the application of data and smart technologies for the benefit of those who live, work or visit here. "We should always embrace the opportunity to share our civic tech innovations, particularly with fellow European cities, as we are demonstrating through the Sharing Cities initiative.
In the era of AI superpowers, Finland is no match for the US and China. So the Scandinavian country is taking a different tack. It has embarked on an ambitious challenge to teach the basics of AI to 1% of its population, or 55,000 people. Once it reaches that goal, it plans to go further, increasing the share of the population with AI know-how. The scheme is all part of a greater effort to establish Finland as a leader in applying and using the technology.
Chinese tech giant Tencent has urged European companies to focus on ethical applications of artificial intelligence, leaving higher-risk ventures to the US and China. Speaking at a conference in Helsinki, Finland, David Wallerstein, Tencent's chief exploration officer, said he was encouraging the European Union to "embrace AI and deploy it in the areas that would have a maximum benefit for human life, even if that technology isn't competitive to take on an American or Chinese market". "By the time you get better at AI in Europe, the planet will have 8.5 billion people and most of the additional billion will be in the developing world. Energy is an area where there's a huge opportunity on the planet, and it's a huge opportunity for Europe. "I've heard lots of people saying how do we catch up with China and the US in the next 15 years, but we may not have much of a planet left by then," he said.
Finland's Artificial Intelligence Programme challenges enterprises to commit to the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI). It encourages enterprises to draw up their own ethical principles for AI that would guide how AI is applied and developed in the enterprises in fair and trust-building ways. At first, the aim is to get at least 300 enterprises sign up for the challenge. "The use of AI will increase and become everyday practice in enterprises at a fast pace. This trend also raises concerns about whether the new technology respects our values.
The research surrounding methods of information retrieval is an entire field of science whose specialists aim to provide us with even better search results – a necessity as the amount of data constantly keeps growing. To succeed in their quest, researchers are focusing on the interaction between humans and computers, connecting methods of machine learning to this interaction. One of these researchers is Dorota Głowacka, who assumed an assistant professorship in machine learning and data science at the Helsinki Centre for Data Science HiDATA at the beginning of 2019. Głowacka is studying what people search for and how they interact with search engines, with a particular focus on exploratory search. This is a search method that helps find matters relevant to the person looking for information, even if they are not entirely certain about what they are looking for to begin with.