September 7, 2020

Funding for Turku-based project to foster trust in AI

The main building of the University of Turku.
The University of Turku is leading a research consortium seeking to dispel public concerns about artificial intelligence-assisted decision-making.
Erja Hyytikäinen / University of Turku

A University of Turku-led consortium has received a funding boost of 4.5 million euros for its two-year effort to study, develop and commercialise governance and auditing mechanisms for artificial intelligence (AI).

The funding was granted by Business Finland.

The industry-academia consortium has set out to reinforce the trustworthiness, transparency and explainability of algorithmic decision-making. The objective is crucial because artificial intelligence is expected to take over a growing share of decisions with an impact on the health and wellbeing of people in fields such as healthcare and transport.

“Trust in decisions made by algorithms calls for not only regulation, but also importantly [the] capability to open up the algorithmic decision-making process in a way that is understandable for humans,” told Teemu Birkstedt, a professor of practice at the University of Turku.

Matti Mäntymäki, an associate professor at Turku School of Economics, said the AIGA programme provides “a unique opportunity and first-class partner network” to study and develop governance models for artificial intelligence, as well as the services and business ecosystems emerging around responsible artificial intelligence.

Mäntymäki is the principal investigator of the programme.

Outi Keski-Äijö, the head of AI business at Business Finland, revealed that the expectation is that the programme spawns products and services that reduce the risks of organisations producing and utilising artificial intelligence and has a positive impact on the entire ecosystem in Finland.

The public and private-sector partners of the programme include the Finnish Tax Administration, the University of Helsinki, Solita and Zefort.

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

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