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Artificial intelligence has been declared one of our century’s most important technologies. In future, this technology will be used to diagnose diseases, to control our driverless cars and to improve the efficiency of public services. The technology can give companies insight into their customers’ needs and thus lead to production optimisation or to new products and services. Many companies, however, find it hard to gain access to the right expertise and thus hard to benefit from of artificial intelligence.
Danish Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence will provide access to the latest techniques in artificial intelligence for companies and organizations. It is founded by the Alexandra Institute, which will open in premises at Søndre Campus on a new part of Copenhagen University. The primary target group are companies that are on their way or already in the process of implementing artificial intelligence. Today we are using advanced techniques that are crucial for digitizing Danish society and Danish companies. Artificial intelligence can make companies data-driven and give them meaningful insight into real-time customer demands so they can launch new products or optimize their production, says Anders Kofod-Petersen, Professor of artificial intelligence and Deputy Director at the Alexandra Institute.
According to Flemming Adsersen, COO for the Centre, it is crucial to give Danish companies easy access to the right resources and expertise in the field of artificial intelligence. This is the only way to support business digitization and thus create new jobs.
We see that companies that wish to start working with advanced AI techniques may find it hard to engage people. The consequence is that it is difficult for them to realise the full potential of the technology. Furthermore, companies may spend long time working on different AI and machine learning platforms. However, we have these resources. The centre has access to a data platform that already operates, cutting-edge AI expertise, as well as a network for other companies working with the same techniques, he says.
Many companies are currently located in office communities with focus on domain. Only few of them have focus on method. The idea of the centre is to provide companies that work with artificial intelligence with the opportunity to exchange experiences. - Whether you want to develop an algorithm that can diagnose tumors, count birds over an airport or classify music, you will use the same techniques. With this centre, companies will get a neutral place where they can train algorithms within different fields. This will definitely contribute to their improvement, Anders Kofod-Petersen explains. The Centre also allows fast-lane innovation, which is a popular model today. For many large companies it does not make sense to move 400 employees. But they can move their innovation department. This makes sense because in this way they become part of a larger environment, explains Flemming Adsersen.
Another challenge is how businesses can share data to improve or make new business because artificial intelligence requires access to large datasets. Since Denmark mainly consists of small and medium-sized companies, you could fear that they will lose the race and not have equal opportunities for developing new solutions. Lack of data does not pose the same problem for large and global organisations. Therefore, the centre will make it easier to share data and competencies across public and private companies.
- People often believe that data has value in itself. It does not. Data does not have value until it is used for a purpose. This requires a centre with focus on artificial intelligence and with a technical platform to collect data. The centre allows companies to collect and their data in a large bucket, process them for an intensive period and develop items that can optimize their products, says Anders Kofod-Petersen.
In addition to working with AI as a method, the centre will gather public and private partners in areas where Denmark is in a strong position and where there is a high potential for solving societal challenges. Initially, we will focus on employment, sustainable construction and traffic.
- Our goal is that in three years we will have a suggestion for how we can utilize AI to create value in those areas. It is easy to automate and make manpower redundant with robots, as McKinsey has just pointed out. But with the right data and expertise, we can use AI to solve many of our present growth problems, says Flemming Adsersen.
Facts about Danish Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence
Flemming Adsersen, COO, Dansk Center for Anvendt Kunstig Intelligens, +45 24 82 90 60, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anders Kofod-Petersen, Deputy Director, Professor in artificial intelligence, The Alexandra Institute, +45 41 15 12 48, email@example.com