A New Artificial Intelligence Research Centre

Minister of Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup and researcher Gustavo Mello looking at a computer screen at the new AI lab.

"Norwegian businesses and public services must take part in the development of artificial intelligence to remain in the competition with international parties," says head of the laboratory Hugo Hammer.

OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University and Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering are now taking the initiative to gather their resources in artificial intelligence in a research centre, OsloMet Artificial Intelligence Lab (AI Lab), which was unveiled by Minister of Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup on 26 April 2019.

Capital of Artificial Intelligence in Norway

The aim is for Oslo to be the new capital of artificial intelligence in Norway, and the new centre takes an interdisciplinary approach, focusing on developing artificial intelligence that takes people and society into consideration.

AI Lab will contribute to improved coordination of the research on artificial intelligence. It could become a show window for the industry, public services and media, and facilitate cooperation with other environments working with artificial intelligence.

A Technology with a Great Potential

The centre will be an important resource in the work to educate the future professionals in the field, for instance in OsloMet’s bachelor and master’s degree programmes, and to develop new and improved services. The research community has already established contact with the health services, schools, social services, and the engineering sector.

“There is a great potential for artificial intelligence, which is untapped in today's society and in the business sector,” says Hammer.

Can Rationalise Many Areas

Artificial intelligence can rationalise many areas, such as agriculture, aviation, education, trade, finance, heavy industry, medical treatment, recruitment, job searching, marketing, music, news production, energy efficiency, and transport.

Lab head Hugo Hammer gives examples such as helping doctors to interpret medical imaging to improve the detection of illnesses, and better education programmes with smart learning tools, such as personal assistants with artificial intelligence based on what the students already know.

Important for Norway and Europe to Take Part

OsloMet’s rector Curt Rice pointed out that many of the advances in artificial intelligence now takes place in China and the United States, and that it is important that also European values shape technological developments with the solutions that we have in our societies.

Minister of Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup emphasised that new technology such as artificial technology will not only solve problems in better ways, but also in completely new ways. The government will therefore adopt a national strategy for artificial intelligence. However, international cooperation will also be necessary for a small country like ours.

AI Lab will focus on robotic systems, the internet of things, artificial intelligence as a decision support system, for instance in the health service, or as personalised solutions based on learning from the users. Machine learning will also be explored.

At the opening, researchers from OsloMet and SimulaMet presented an array of projects related to artificial intelligence, where the new laboratory could prove useful.

This article was first published on hioa.no 02/5/2019.

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Text: Olav-Johan Øye
Photo: Sonja Balci / OsloMet