Application for challenges in experimenting: Using artificial intelligence to enhance wellbeing

Government Communications Department
19.4.2018 12.43 | Published in English on 20.4.2018 at 13.46
Press release 199/2018

Finland wants to boost its position as a frontrunner in artificial intelligence (AI). The Prime Minister's Office’s key project known as ‘Experimental Finland’ is now looking for challenges which could be responded to using AI to foster wellbeing. The topics that will be chosen from the application for challenges will later generate an application for pilot projects.

The application, which you can find on the ‘Place to Experiment’ platform, aims to identify concrete challenges that can be used to test whether AI could be harnessed to improve everyday wellbeing.

"The challenges could involve for example the ways in which AI can be used to enhance different services. Where do the bottlenecks lie that need unblocking where AI could best be used for unblocking them", says Virve Hokkanen, Project Manager at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The application for challenges process is open for a period of two weeks. Then three to five challenges will be selected and solutions for them will be sought in an open application procedure. The application for pilot projects itself will start in May, involving small-scale experiments that can be carried out at a cost of around EUR 500 to EUR 5,000. The sum total available is approximately EUR 150,000.

Proposals for challenges can be submitted by anyone and everyone. "You don’t need to be a techno geek to take part in improving everyday life. After all, services are designed for people. That is why we’re trying out a dual-phase application procedure, so as to encourage as many as possible to engage in the AI debate", notes Johanna Kotipelto, Senior Specialist at the Prime Minister’s Office.

There is widespread discussion about AI at the moment and various initiatives have already been launched or are about to be launched. Experimenting plays an important part in testing and in finding new solutions. "Many experts underline that it is actually worth starting with small-scale experiments when applying AI", says Kotipelto.

The application for pilot projects in AI is the second one of the applications for funding in the Place to Experiment. It differs significantly from the previous one, because the current one has two phases. Another new element is that this time Motiva Ltd (sustainable development company) is in charge of running all practical matters.

"Motiva has been in charge of developing the Place to Experiment platform together with the Prime Minister's Office since the beginning of this year. This application process is in itself an experiment and a great opportunity for us to learn", observes Lea Gynther, Project Manager at Motiva Ltd.

In its mid-term review in spring 2017, the Government outlined that the three areas of focus in experimenting would be: the circular economy, artificial intelligence and employment. An application procedure for pilot projects related to the circular economy was carried out in summer 2017, and one related to employment will be conducted in the course of this year.

Further information on the application (in Finnish)

Inquiries: Virve Hokkanen, Project Manager, Prime Minister's Office, tel. +358 295 160 490, [email protected] , Johanna Kotipelto, Senior Specialist, Prime Minister's Office, tel. +358 295 160 206, [email protected] , Lea Gynther, Senior Expert, Motiva Oy, tel. +358 9 6122 5044, [email protected]