Artificial Intelligence Day attracted 600 people fascinated by AI

The Artificial Intelligence Day brought together researchers, companies and the public sector involved in the fast-developing field of AI. “Without great science, there cannot be any innovations in industry,” summed up one company participant, Kimmo Pentikäinen, Elisa’s vice president of business development.

On Articial Intelligence Day on 13 December 2017, 600 artificial intelligence experts and enthusiasts gathered in Dipoli, Aalto University’s newly-renovated main building.

The organiser, the new Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI established by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, wished to promote matchmaking, information sharing and cross-border collaboration with the event.

Unique research problems add value to both academia and companies

Representatives of over 180 companies were offered matchmaking opportunities during pitching, demo and poster sessions. One of the large Finnish companies present was Elisa, who’s vice president in business development Kimmo Pentikäinen met up with Samuel Kaski, Professor at Aalto University and Head of FCAI, in the AI Day networking area

They discussed the needs of Elisa as an eager partner for research institutions.

“It’s a massive amount of mobile data that we have available in networks, and what we are always aiming for is to provide this data for scientific purposes,” Pentikäinen said. “That’s the start of the research collaboration: for us to know what we do not know yet. And that’s the essence of doing scientific research, right?”

Samuel Kaski highlighted the importance of finding unique research problems that would add value to both the research community and companies.

“What’s most fruitful for both is to identify things that no one else is looking for yet, and try to find a match for our methods and actually solve problems that you need to get solved but haven’t realised that yet. Maybe that could be the kind of killer match we want to find!” Samuel Kaski envisioned.

“I couldn’t agree more because what we are seeking from academic research is the things we do not know,” Kimmo Pentikäinen concurred. “That’s how we can identify the next big things that will change our own operations, the entire industry, and society as a whole in a fundamental way.”

Strong interest for applications and cross-field collaboration

In the conference feedback that FCAI collected, several AI Day participants expressed their interest for hearing more about concrete AI applications and business opportunities. They would provide deeper insight for technology experts, company executives and decision makers.

In addition, more information on cross-border collaboration between technology, humanities and creative fields should be visible and disseminated in the future AI Day events in order for AI to address wider societal problems.

Participants also listed topics that would interest them in the forthcoming AI events: applications of AI in industrial settings, traffic, and data management, AI and data security, interactive technologies, and women as AI developers.

FCAI is planning to make AI Day an annual event. The next seminar is scheduled to be held in the autumn of 2018.

Further information:
Terhi Kajaste, FCAI Corporate Liaison, Aalto University

Photos: Matti Ahlgren / Aalto University

Six papers by FCAI researchers at NIPS 2017

At the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems NIPS 2017 in California in December, FCAI researchers presented altogether six papers. The 2017 conference broke all previous attendance records which in itself is a clear sign of the booming and wide-spread interest on artificial intelligence research.

The presented papers at NIPS 2017:

Kari Rantanen, Antti Hyttinen, Matti Järvisalo
Learning Chordal Markov Networks via Branch and Bound

Sami Remes, Markus Heinonen, Samuel Kaski
Non-Stationary Spectral Kernels

Mikko Heikkilä, Eemil Lagerspetz, Samuel Kaski, Kana Shimizu, Sasu Tarkoma, Antti Honkela
Differentially private Bayesian learning on distributed data

Isabeau Prémont-Schwarz, Alexander Ilin, Tele Hao, Antti Rasmus, Rinu Boney, Harri Valpola
Recurrent Ladder Networks

Antti Tarvainen, Harri Valpola
Mean teachers are better role models: Weight-averaged consistency targets improve semi-supervised deep learning results

Kiran Garimella, Aristides Gionis, Nikos Parotsidis, Nikolaj Tatti
Balancing information exposure in social networks

Discovering the evolution of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a dangerous tropical soil bacterium

A HIIT research team led by professor Jukka Corander collaborated with the pathogen genomics group at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to unearth the evolution of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a notorius soil bacterium causing serious human infections in tropics.