FCAI Society

Aurora AI plans to revolutionize public services, and FCAI Society is here to help

As a part of Finland’s venture to become a forerunner in the application of AI technologies, the Ministry of Finance has been spearheading a public network of AI infrastructure called AuroraAI. Kicked off in 2018, the project will enable human centered and proactive public services with the help of modern AI technologies.

FCAI Society is helping the project by providing a critical eye to the ethical dimensions of the venture. In collaboration with the Ethics sub-group of  Finland’s AI Program, the interdisciplinary group of experts at FCAI Society will provide ethical sparring to identify risks and rewards in the project, as well as to operationalize the high level societal values the AuroraAI project is committed to.

The application of AI technologies provides the possibility for individualized and human centered services, which help citizens in the important turning points in their lives. But to reap these benefits, technologies must be implemented in a responsible and value-driven manner. That is why societal impact and ethical concerns must be evaluated at the get-go, not as an afterthought. This perspective is also present in the European High Level Expert group’s draft report on principles for trustworthy AI .

To learn more about AuroraAI and how they are implementing European principles for ethical AI, please see their YouTube channel.

FCAI Society has kicked off several initiatives for societally and ethically cognizant AI development

Set up in early 2018, FCAI Society has now brought together a multidisciplinary group of researchers and artists working on artificial intelligence and its wide impact in society.  

In its latest meeting on 6 November 2018 FCAI Society discussed with representatives of the Ethics group of the Finnish government’s AI Programme (tekoalyaika.fi). The FCAI Society is willing to act as a discussion partner to the Programme in matters of AI ethics. 

FCAI Society will make an inventory of existing ethical guidelines for AI, with the view to produce a set of guidelines to facilitate and promote ethical thinking in AI development. The guidelines will work not only as an internal guideline for FCAI’s operations and research, but also provide researchers and practitioners outside academia an example checklist for adopting and applying artificial intelligence tools and methods. FCAI is keen to take a facilitating role in the public discussion concerning ethics of AI, and in this context, the manifesto would serve as a common reference point to spark future dialogue on the subject.

The FCAI Society will be active in suggesting new research programs for the Academy of Finland and will also initiate joint research project proposals on the subject of AI and Society.

The latest public event with FCAI Society members took place on 7 November in the Think Corner of University of Helsinki. Professor Hannu Toivonen (University of Helsinki), FCAI Society co-leader, Professor Jaakko Lehtinen (Aalto University, NVIDIA) and FCAI Society member, University Lecturer Anna-Mari Rusanen (digital humanities at University of Helsinki) drew a full house. FCAI Society will participate in further events directed towards the general public. You can view the event’s recording here.

The great success of Elements of AI, an open online course co-organized with Reaktor, is now followed-up by a Finnish version of the course and a new MOOC course, continuing on Elements of AI, but requiring programming skills, is in preparation. In addition, there will be a MOOC on Ethics of AI, for which FCAI Society will provide expertise and content. The aim of these courses is to provide AI literacy for all.

FCAI Society also has a series of podcasts planned concerning AI. The podcasts will feature FCAI Society members and other guests who will discuss the meaning, impact, hopes and risks related to artificial intelligence. The motivation behind the series is educational, both for the audience and the participants—a though-provoking chance to learn from different points of view how things like intelligence, privacy, art, work and creativity will be shaped by AI technologies.

FCAI Society: understanding and communicating AI across scientific divides

Solving the major technical hurdles in artificial intelligence, FCAI has now brought together the top expertise in both Aalto University and University of Helsinki in the technical development of AI.

However, we still need a holistic view and understanding of artificial intelligence across scientific borders in order to also engage the public in the changes AI will bring.

FCAI has sought experts from philosophy, ethics, sociology, legal studies, psychology and art to explore the impact AI will have in all aspects of our lives.

This cross-disciplinary group, FCAI Society, will in interaction with FCAI researchers consider the wide implications of AI research and furthermore the FCAI Society and FCAI researchers will together engage in public dialogue.

FCAI Society has teamed up with the event venue Think Corner at the University of Helsinki to expose AI research to public interest and scrutiny in an ongoing series of themed events: debates, discussions and demos.

FCAI Society will try to meet the pressing need to engage in dialogue and bridge scientific divides. We will deepen understanding on both sides: both of what is technically possible and how AI methods affect societal change and global equality. The lessons we have to teach each other we will take with us to the public domain and engage everyone in improving our common AI literacy. Here Think Corner’s events, which consistently reach hundreds of people in their prime location in the Helsinki city center and many more online, will have a prominent role.

The group will not remain fixed but expand and change according to the goals, research interests and ongoing projects within FCAI. This way we can have insight into the ways AI methods will live on and be taken up different societal settings. FCAI Society will also remain open to future research collaborations.

The initial composition of the FCAI Society, subject to change:

Hanna Haaslahti – artist
Raul Hakli – university researcher, ethics (University of Helsinki)
Sara Heinämaa – professor, philosophy (University of Jyväskylä)
Timo Honkela – professor, language technology, philosophy of AI (University of Helsinki)
Minna Huotilainen – principal investigator, cognitive science (University of Helsinki)
Riikka Koulu – assistant professor, legal studies (University of Helsinki)
Jaakko Kuorikoski – associate professor, philosophy (University of Tampere)
Krista Lagus – professor, digital social science (University of Helsinki)
Arto Laitinen – professor, philosophy (University of Tampere)
Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen – professor, sociology (University of Tampere)
Pekka Mäkelä – coordinator, ethics (University of Helsinki)
Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka – artist
Göte Nyman – professor emeritus, psychology (University of Helsinki)
Mika Pantzar – professor, consumer research (University of Helsinki)
Osmo Soininvaara – statistician, former government minister and member of parliament, Helsinki city council member
Petri Ylikoski – professor, science and technology studies (University of Helsinki)