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Dear FCAI company member,

I am glad to introduce you to the first edition of our newsletter to FCAI members!

The Company Membership Program has started off and a lot of promising and mutually beneficial research collaboration is already underway: with some of the company members we are already immersed in joint top-level research and with others, we are taking the first steps to that direction.

As you know, we applied for the Academy of Finland Flagship funding this spring. The competition was fierce with many excellent proposals, and FCAI made it all the way to the panel interview stage. Unfortunately, even though we came very close, we did not receive the funding in the end. However, our research plan was evaluated to be very strong, which is of course the core of FCAI, but we need to work on articulating our further plans better to get our message through. As the next steps, we will continue to develop the FCAI consortium, strengthen the impact program further and do some stellar writing to secure the funding on the next round.

It goes without saying that the flagship programme is an important funding source for FCAI, and perhaps even more importantly, a very desirable status. However and regardless of the flagship status, the everyday operation of FCAI and especially the Company Membership Program will continue as planned. We will continue to focus on top-level research in collaboration with you to develop the next generation AI and its impact on the society and business.

Ethics of AI has gained ground in both international and national discussion lately, and we must take an active role in this important dialogue. In April, we took the first steps to this direction by establishing a group of cross-disciplinary experts, FCAI society, and bringing them together to discuss the wider societal implications of AI research. FCAI society will continue its important work by organizing public events and together with FCAI researchers, engage in public dialogue on AI research.

FCAI Ecosystem get-together was organized in April. The event was a success with more than one hundred participants featuring both researchers and FCAI company members. Also a number of start-up companies presented themselves. Through these events we boost the collaboration with our member companies, and create a forum for both university partners and company representatives to meet and to find further interests that have the potential to lead to joint research.

Thematic working groups were requested this spring by our member companies. We heard you and as a first step started tackling this by constructing Business Finland Co-Innovation consortia in the timely AI program around our key AI research themes. We want to emphasize that the goal is joint research, not Business Finland proposals as such, and joint research will certainly be done outside these proposals as well.

The following themes are among the first to kick off:

  •  Personalized Translation from Finnish to Non-English (Professors Jörg Tiedemann and Mikko Kurimo)
  • Machine Insight for Behavioral Analytics (Professors Antti Oulasvirta, Samuel Kaski, Giulio Jacucci, and Arto Klami)
  • Industrial applications for simulator-based AI (Professor Samuel Kaski and others)
  • Wellness and health e.g. in working life (Professor Simo Särkkä)

As a small detail, we have also taken onboard the request to start the membership year from the signature date of the contract as opposed to the calendar year as written in the contract.

The next important step is to get the flagship status in the call with deadline on June 20, with evaluations during the summer and autumn. Contributions to publicity and visibility of FCAI during that time are particularly welcome. And it does not hurt to let decision-makers know how important AI and FCAI are to the future of Finland.

We are happy to have you as a part of FCAI and we wish you a very relaxing and enjoyable summertime!

Best regards,

Samuel Kaski