NORA’s first annual conference successfully held in Bergen
On 17th and 18th of November 2021, NORA held its first Annual Conference in Bergen. More than 100 researchers from across Norway came together to one of Norway’s most important meeting places for the AI-community.
Foto: Alex Moltzau
The conference aims to gather the Norwegian research community within the field of Artificial Intelligence and create a platform where invited speakers and participants can share research, ideas, theories, models and new perspectives, and interact with peers from the field. Knowledge sharing and interaction was and will be at the center of the conference, which hopefully will foster a strong community of researchers and practitioners, while bridging the gap between young researchers, startups and industry.
The conference was open to all researchers from NORA universities, research institutes and university colleges. Th conference was also open for representatives from non-partner organizations, industry and the public sector.
The conference had two keynote speakers; Professor Danica Kragic from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Professor Ian Horrocks from Oxford University. The keynotes were aimed at providing state of the art knowledge about specific topics related to AI. Kragic talked about Learning interaction and collaboration for robotics tasks, while Horrocks’ keynote was related to Knowledge Graphs: Theory, Applications and Challenges.
The keynotes weren’t the only highlights of the conference, which was packed with exciting talks, research presentations, a live roleplay and startup segment. The conference contained four tracks with exciting talks from our researchers. In track 1 the researchers talked about Robotics and Image Processing and was chaired by Ana Ozaki (Associate Professor, UiB). Track 2 was about Explainable AI & Time Series and was chaired by Pål Grønås Drange (Associate Professor, UiB). Track 3 contained presentations about Deep Learning and NLP, chaired by Nello Blaser (Associate Professor, UiB), while track 4 was about Graphic Models and Miscellaneous, chaired by Klaus Johansen (Chief Scientist, NORCE). Inga Strumke (Postdoctoral Researcher, NTNU) won the award for the best oral presentation for her research about Detecting supersymmetric particles in small-signal scenarios.
Furthermore, there were two panel discussions, one discussing the future of AI in Norway and role of NORA, and one focusing on AI & startups, arranged by NORA.startup. NORA’s own Alex Moltzau presented the Norwegian AI Directory presented, while Espen Flage-Larsen (Senior Researcher, SINTEF) presented Uninett/Sigma2. In addition the Annual Conference contained poster presentations by young researchers. The posters stimulated discussion and exchange of ideas during the breaks. The winning poster was developed by Samia Touileb about Using Gender - and Polarity -Informed Models to Investigate Bias.
The NORA.startup segment was led by Freyja Jørgensen (Innovation Manager at Simula/ Grundergarasjen & Leader of the NORA.startup steering group). During the NORA.startup segment, several startups presented their company including the idea that inspired the startup, their service or product you offer, the team behind the startup, how research based innovation has played a part in their startup, and the benefits of research based collaboration. Startups who presented were Neddy, Soundsensing, Disputas, Maigon and Bergen Robotics.
- I would like to thank everybody who contributed to making the NORA Annual Conference a success. This is just the type of meeting place needed to exchange ideas, make contacts and create network to further excel Norwegian AI-related research. I am already looking forward to next year’s edition, says CEO of NORA, Klas H. Pettersen.
For more information about the conference and pictures, please visit NORA’s webpage.
See you next year in Stavanger!
Based on the overwhelming positive response from the participants, there is no doubt that the conference was a success. The conference confirmed the need for meeting places for the Norwegian AI-community, and NORA will its best to fulfill this important role and facilitate connections between the many AI communities in Norway and be a gathering force connecting communities together.
NORA would like to thank everybody who contributed to and participated at the conference, and a special thanks to the program committee. This conference will be an annual event for the coming years. We are happy to announce that the NORA Annual Conference 2022 will take place in Stavanger, 9th-10th of June! Stay tuned for more information.