NordicAIMEET 2021 – a successful conference for young researchers in the Nordics
On 1st and 2nd of November, NORA in collaboration with CLAIRE and Research Council of Norway, hosted more than 100 young researchers at the Nordic Young Researchers Symposium (NordicAIMEET). The main purpose of the conference was to provide a platform for young AI researchers to exchange ideas, build collaborations and form a Nordic approach for building AI solutions for the societal good.
A transforming society
Our society is undergoing a rapid transformation due to the convergence of many digital technologies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is central to this change and offers major opportunities to improve our lives. Although AI has received a lot of attention in society, the education and research in AI and AI-related areas must be strengthened. Increasing the knowledge, building networks and exchanging experiences will be crucial in determining how to approach the development and use of AI. The Nordic AI young researcher symposium was conceived with these challenges in mind. The conference offered keynotes from prominent professors and researchers, oral presentations, industry presentations, academic posters and panel debate, combined with the opportunity to interact and socialize with other researchers.
The keynote speakers were Professor Virginia Dignum from Umeå University, Nobel Laureate Evard Moser from NTNU, Professor Serge Belongie from DIKU and Pioneer Centre for AI and Professor Samuel Kaski from Aalto University and The University of Manchester.
Keynote by Edvard Moser
The keynotes were aimed at providing state of the art knowledge about specific topics related to AI. The keynotes also offered new perspectives, broadening the research views of specific areas and provided information about new methods that can be used in investigating specific research problems.
NORA believes in providing a platform for young researchers to present, discuss and promote their research. Therefore, a set of short oral presentations from selected PhD students/Postdocs were an integral part of the program. Each PhD/young researcher received 15 minutes to present their PhD project/current research. View the list of invited speakers and project titles here.
Several young researchers also participated with posters illustrating their ideas. The posters stimulated discussion and exchange of ideas during the breaks. The winning poster was developed by Cathrine Bui. Alise Midtfjord won the award for best oral presentation for her research.
We are grateful to the program committee for their dedicated effort in reviewing and selecting oral presentations and poster presentations from submitted abstracts. See the virtual posters here.
The NordicAIMeet also included a special industry segment, where young researchers could be inspired by how artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics is employed in different contexts. The industrial partners for were Telenor group, Cognite, Soundsensing and Kongsberg Digital. Young researchers were introduced to opportunities in industry, and the industry representatives were able to engage with young researchers and discuss opportunities for collaboration.
I think we can conclude that the annual Nordic AI meet was a huge success. We need an arena for cooperation between young researchers on a Nordic level within the field of AI, and this conference provided just that, says CEO of NORA, Klas H. Pettersen.
During the summer, NORA, in collaboration with Simula Research Laboratory, launched a dataset competition called MedAI: Transparency in Medical Image Segmentation. NORA and Simula proposed a task that focused on medical image segmentation and transparency in machine learning-based systems. Three tasks to meet specific gastrointestinal image segmentation challenges collected from experts within the field were proposed. This included two different segmentation scenarios and a task on transparent machine learning systems that emphasizes the need for explainable and interpretable machine learning algorithms. Results of the competition were announced at the NordicAIMEET conference. The winners are Adrian Galdran and Debayan Bhattacharya. We are grateful to Michael Riegler and his team for his extraordinary effort in developing the competition and reviewing submissions. To strengthen the Nordic cooperation within AI, NORA has released a new scientific journal called Nordic Machine Intelligence, where the results of the data competitions are published. Visit the website here!
A Nordic approach in line with Nordic values
The conferences confirmed the need for more interaction and student exchange between the Nordic countries. One of the take-aways from the conference was that Nordic AI cannot be world leading within all fields, but the Nordic countries can be leading within some subfields. For Nordic AI to become world leading they should attack the grand challenges that are aligned with Nordic values and where they have competitive advantages.
See you all next year!
NORA and our partners would like to thank everybody who contributed to and participated at the conference. This conference will be an annual event for the coming years. See you next year!