Finlands satsningar på kompetens inom AI är i världsklass. Du har säkert redan hört om kursen The Elements of Artificial Intelligence från University of Helsinki, med målsättningen att 1% av Finlands befolkning ska ha gått den.

Ett annat väldigt spännande AI-område där Finland ligger i framkant är deras samarbete mellan tre myndigheter för en gemensam chat-bott som ska underlätta för utländska investerare och start ups. Finska Migrationsverket, Skatteverket och Patent- och Registreringsverket är myndigheterna det rör sig om, och här berättar Vesa Hagström, CDO på finska Migrationsverket mer

vesa hagström


This interview is held in English.

Hello Vesa!

There has been a lot of news about Finland and AI in Sweden the last few months. Particularly about the Finnish government’s decision to boost AI knowledge throughout the country. So – what’s all the fuzz about?
Public sector and especially government has a strong vision about AI helping citizens, customers, companies and organizations. The transformation is about changing the administration centric services to human-centric services by using AI and robotics. Especially important is that also AI ethics has a strong role in this agenda. In general AI is seen as a big global competitive factor in the future.

Another thing that has been mentioned a lot is the collaboration between three authorities for a collective chat bot, with the purpose to facilitate for foreign investors and start-ups. You yourself have a big part in this project. What is the story behind this? How did it start?
It all started surprisingly easy. Finnish Tax Administration had their own initiatives with Chinese entrepreneurs and start-ups and we (Finnish Immigration Service) had the Kamu chatbot in use. And we had already been discussing about the chatbot (or Virtual Assistant) network with our AI platform provider. So we had the right pieces of the puzzle on the table and started working with the very innovative experiment together. And because of the results we had also third authority joined our experiment (Finnish Patent and Registration Agency).

What has been the most difficult part of starting this collaboration?
Of course we were a little bit further that the others so we took at some level a leading role and it is time consuming – but at the same time very rewarding. Actually, the collaboration was not difficult. It was fun! And it is also about having the right people and the right mindsets joining the experiment.

Do you think it is likely that more authorities will collaborate like this in the future? Why?
For sure – yes. The intelligent virtual assistant network will be the future. It is a perfect and very obvious example of technology supporting the citizens and other customer groups in their life events and service needs.

What do you think the Nordic countries can learn from each other when it comes to AI and automation? Do you have a (fairly) clear picture of what the countries are specifically good at within this field?
Well, I mainly work with the immigration authorities. In fact we had the first ever Nordic Immigration Digitalization workshop  in January and we shared and learned a lot from each other. And we plan to continue doing that.

And to round things off – As a speaker at the event – what are you looking forward to the most at Automatisering & AI, 14-15 of May, 2019 in Stockholm?
Whenever I attend a conference like this I really enjoy real life experiences, lessons learned and best practices discovered.

Exciting, right? Interested in learning more about AI and Automation? Visit the website for the conference:
Automatisering & AI Offentlig Sektor, 14-15 of May in Stockholm



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