Recap: SHIFT 2019 brought valuable insights into AI discussion

Last week we had the pleasure to be involved in SHIFT Business Festival with an amazing lineup on applied AI. Many thanks to the organizers, our customers and all other current and potential future partners that came by our AI lounge and met us!

This year at SHIFT we hosted two panels that showcased how to apply AI in practice. One of our founders, Ville Hulkko hosted a panel on the first day on how to get started with AI, with lessons from Riku Tapper (Director of AI center-of-excellence at Posti) and Juha Karstunen (Digital Transformation Lead at Finnair). The discussion focused on how these two leading Finnish companies have taken different approaches in their AI strategy, one with more "centre-of-excellence" that aims to serve different business functions, and the other with testing out different Proof-of-Concepts and taking the wins into production. Highlight of the conversation: "Start your learning curve with AI today and start experimenting now".

Second day kicked off with our Lead AI Architect Niko Vuokko hosting a panel on AI in edge computing and autonomous operations, with experiences and examples from Jyri Kylä-Kaila (CEO at Epec), Jarkko Ruokojärvi (Global Business Development Manager at Sandvik) and Pauliina Kunvik (Director R&D and Product Management at Hiab/Cargotec). The companies shared how they've been working with autonomous operations and told us about the learnings.

We also had the pleasure to attend two panels. Our Chairman Tero Ojanperä contributed with lessons on how to succeed in AI projects from experimentation to successful deployment, with Alexander Törnrooth (Lead at Finnish AI Accelerator) and Colin Shearer (Houston Analytics). One idea that was discussed was about the utilization of AI: start from the desired outcome and work backwards. Keeping narrow focus but aiming high can help reach the value.

Towards the end of Friday and entire SHIFT our CEO Peter Sarlin attended a panel on the current state and near-term future of AI technologies as well as what they really enable, with Yoshua Bengio (MILA, Founder of Element AI), Luka Crnkovic-Friis (CEO at Peltarion) and Christian Guttmann (VP  & Global Head of Artificial Intelligence & Data Science at Tieto).

First, we heard a great keynote from Bengio, over Skype connection all the way from Mexico. He carefully opened up the topic of AI from scientific perspective and when mentioning the idea of Artificial General Intelligence, concluded: "Even humans don't have general intelligence, as we're not good at everything". Bengio also highlighted that even as it is, today's AI already is powerful, and therefore everyone in the "chain" from research to companies putting products to market need to think about the impact.

Second, the panel focused on what is happening now and in the future. Everyone seemed to agree that after enough PoCs, more and more companies are now making things happen in terms of AI. Our CEO Peter Sarlin added: "Companies need to collect data and leverage a feedback loop, where every interaction  improves the experience", making a reference to companies like Facebook, Amazon and Spotify.

Finally, our CEO Peter Sarlin met with Yle Puhe’s Juuso Pekkinen on the topic of de-mystifying AI. Listen to the interview in Finnish.

If you missed us at SHIFT 2019, but would like to discuss about making your business more AI-driven, get in touch.

All photos by Julius Töyrylä, except last one by Roosa Karhu.

Pauliina Alanen
Former Head of Brand
Silo AI
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Pauliina Alanen

Former Head of Brand

Silo AI

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