Bridging the AI gap
Imagine writing an article about AI every day for 500 days continuously. That is what NORAs latest employee, Alex Moltzau, has done. A champion of collaboration and an AI enthusiast at heart, Alex is on a mission to make AI work for the good of the society.
Picture of Alex Moltzau. Photo: Eirik Engblad
A world traveler
A native of Oslo, Moltzau has travelled the world. He has spent a year in the Pacific as young and studied in the UK. After completing a Bachelor of Anthropology with Informatics at University of Oslo, he is now studying Social Data Science, at the University of Copenhagen.
- I am part of an inaugural cohort. The program combines intensive programming with social science study, which is really interesting. Oxford University and London School of Economics have this kind of program, but this is the first one to my knowledge in the Nordic countries. I will be writing my master’s thesis about artificial intelligence, says Moltzau.
Interest in sustainability, entrepreneurship and startups – and artificial intelligence
Writing about AI for 500 days is not his only impressive feat. He has been marketing director of an interior company, started a communications company and founded the organization Young Sustainable Impact with offices in four countries with 20 000 applicants from 172 countries. Prior to NORA, he worked as an associate at KPMG. It goes without saying that Moltzau’s background and interest is a mix of sustainability, entrepreneurship and startups. So where does the interest in Artificial Intelligence come from?
- I have a strong interest in interdisciplinary work and collaboration. Our generation and all generations to come will be influenced by the climate crisis. That is a fact. Wanting to do something valuable, I saw a lot of potential in the field of artificial intelligence. This gave me an interesting opportunity to combine my existing passion of sustainability, entrepreneurship and startups with a new one, artificial intelligence. I started to write about artificial intelligence just as much to learn about it myself. I came in contact with many great people with great thoughts about the world, says Moltzau.
Moltzau was not completely ignorant about AI when he started on his 500 days project, but he learned something new every day. Attacking the task in a systematic manner, divided his writings in different topics, such as AI and climate change, and AI and strategies.
- I didn’t think I would complete all the 500 days, but it became a routine. It was very exciting to see and meet people and write about them. I read a lot about startups and wrote about them. I wrote about the Norwegian company Spacemaker AI in June 2019, and they were recently sold for over 2.4 Billion NOK. It was obvious to me that Spacemaker AI would become a changemaker in the Norwegian AI community, says Moltzau.
- It is incredible to see the momentum in Norway when it comes to AI. This is a true testament to collaboration. Different actors in different fields are coming together. The progression is no thanks to one environment, but a team effort. In my opinion we as a nation must take a stance and invest in this new field, and at the same time make people understand this field, continues Moltzau.
Collaboration is the key
Moltzau sees great opportunity in collaboration. Norway has a really good tradition when it comes to collaboration. Giving back to the society and reducing social inequality is part of the Norwegian social model. That combined with the great trust in the society in general is an important success factor if we are to succeed with AI.
- There are places in the world, where AI is not used for the best of the society. We have a chance to use this for the best for society, building on our traditions. At the same time the entire world is running fast. There is a lot of intense push forward. The major countries in the world are bringing a lot of capital into this field. If we want to have a voice, we have to invest in it too. If not, decisions will be made for us by others, says Moltzau.
Working for NORA is the dream job
Moltzau has followed NORAs work for some time, and he is pleased with what he has seen so far. He will help NORA in several fields, and make sure that NORA’s different initiatives move forward.
- NORA is already doing a lot. CEO Klas H. Pettersen is present in many arenas. NORA is bringing the AI community closer together through research coordination, different iniativies, information sharing and events. NORA brings steadfast consistency and is taking on a role as a facilitator, which is important. It is important not to underestimate this role. This will affect dialogue and cooperation between the research communities. I want to contribute to that, that’s why I have gone from KPMG to work for NORA. I am really excited, and this is really my dream job, says Moltzau.