Anne Håkansson

Professor - Department of Computer Science - UiT


How did your journey in AI start - what brought you to AI? 

A job where our task was to categorize BAR-Codes. This was done for a company that worked with posters. 

 What is the biggest change you have observed in AI compared to when you entered the field at the start of your career?

– image/ picture analysis.- Earlier all communication (user interface) was done using texts, and text messages but nowadays, images are used. To understand what the images illustrate, these can be analysed. This is especially beneficial for companies that are working with image analyses and video analyses, like police for surveillance, hospitals for deviation detections, and rescue teams for handling accidents but also urban traffic where many vehicles and human beings are involved in different situations. 

What excites you about working in AI, and what are you working on right now?

Decision-making in (within) data-intensive environments, Robustness analysis – solving complex problems using AI

How do you see the number of female researchers and professionals in AI grow? How do you involve yourself in initiatives to introduce more women to AI, and what initiatives can we make to inspire more women to pursue careers within AI? 

It has changed – become more in both the industry and universities. 

I work as a mentor for a group of mentees in the AI field, at NTNU. The group consists of four PhD students and one postdoc, (females and males), and the goal of the project (called IDUN-project from PhD to Professor) is to support people so they can stay and become professors at a university. It is to get a better balance of females and males. 

Why is it important for more women to get involved in AI? 

Provide substantial support in the AI field. AI always need new AI techniques or new ways of applying already developed techniques. Females can see problems in a different light and this can be used to support the AI field. For example, Rina Dechter did invent deep learning which has been very successful when it comes to analysing large sets of images. 

What advice would you like to give women who are pursuing their careers in AI? 

Do it because it is fun and you can provide new services and products using AI

What advice do you have for organizations who wish to recruit and retain female researchers and professionals in AI? 

You need the women way of handling problems and providing solutions. Companies do not need stereotyped staff, they need different staff members that can think in new ways, provide new and/or different ideas and so on. Companies cannot afford to hire the same people without modernising their organisations. To get the staff, companies can work together with the universities, and get master students do work within the different organisations as a way to get an employment later, they can announce jobs by directing the to certain categories of students (pinpoint skills).  

Who is your biggest role model within your field, and why? 

Lotfi Zadeh – fuzzy logic -  although heavily criticized, he continued working on the belief he had about handling uncertain knowledge. 

Others are Ada Lovelace – Hedy Lamarr (mathematician – game theory) –  Rina Dechter

1942: Hedy Lamarr (Actress, Inventor, Film producer)

-   developed, with George Antheil, the “Secret Communication System” – frequency-hopping system - autonomously changing frequency among 88 different channels.

-   1957: system incorporated into Bluetooth technology (similar to methods used in Wi-Fi).

1986: Rina Dechter (Computer scientist, Mathematician)

-   introduced the phrase Deep Learning to the machine learning and computer science community

-   2003: wrote a standard text in constraint programming

What role can NORA take on to empower diversity and inclusion in AI in Norway? 

Be visible / support “women in AI-events” / encourage females by participating in events, 


About Anne

If you are interested in the field of AI, you have surely come across the notable researcher Anne Håkonsson, a AI celeb in her own right due to her extensive contributions to the field. Anne is a Professor at the Department of Computer Sciences at the Arctic University of Norway and the Chair of the Computational Analytics and Intelligence Lab (CAI Lab). Having more than 25 years of experience in the field, Anne has made extensive strides in the field of AI, as shown by her multiple papers, articles and other materials published in the field, as well as an exhaustive list of published books. Professor Anne Håkansson research lies within Computer science with the focus on Artificial Intelligence, and reasoning strategies, for different application areas, among others e-business, environmental impact assessment, and context. Håkansson has conducted research within Knowledge-based systems and Knowledge Base modelling, Reasoning, Graphic Representation, Visualisation, Visual Programming, Declarative Programming, Multi-agent systems, and Meta-agents. A brilliant and often featured speaker at various international conferences, Anne continues to inspire and encourage boundary breaking research in the use of AI in e-commerce, environmental impact assessments, Smart Cities and contexts.

Publisert 7. mars 2022 15:37 - Sist endret 7. mars 2022 15:37