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Five questions about AI to Fredrik Hofflander, Head of AFRY’s Future Technologies Team

Fredrik Hofflander leads a new AI program, AAAI, together with AI Center

As an AI Developer and Data Scientist, Fredrik Hofflander is Head of AFRY’s Future Technologies Team and has a strong focus on helping companies getting to the next level of their work within AI. He is also chairman of AI Center’s technical board, and regularly hosts seminars about how to interpret AI in larger organisations.

AFRY and AI Center have recently joined forces with a strong wish to make it easier develop and implement AI applications across industries. This has, among other things, resulted in a new program where participants learn how to benefit from AI.

Hi, Fredrik. You talk about democratising AI, what do you mean by that?

Democratising AI is not a simple concept, especially since both words, Democracy and AI, can both be hard to describe as they are.

However, what I mean when I say democratise AI, is that AI will become such a big part of our everyday lives and reality, that knowledge within this field will have a lager impact on equality, equity and democracy than any other technical development so far. The only way to make this a good change for as many as possible is to make the technique and knowledge about AI available for all in an accessible way.

How should one implement AI in bigger organisations?

That´s the million-dollar question, literally!

I think that AI has to be treated like any other technique. This may sound either strange or maybe obvious, but the problem is that many organisations treats AI either as something extremely hard or something easy, which is seldom the case with “other” techniques. If you treat AI as something to hard for your organisation you will of course fall behind your market´s competitors. However, if you treat it like something that something that “your best guy” can read up on and start implementing, and I do not even banter, you will end up with a mess.

You wouldn’t hire a fresh from school developer, not even a brilliant one, to be your lead data architect. Why does so many companies then hire junior machine learning developers to be their lead data scientist?

The correct way, in my opinion, is to first educate yourself so that as many as possible in the organisation speaks AI. After that, take help from someone that has done this for at least 5-10 years, because that is what you have done if it was any other development that needed to be done.

Fredrik Hofflander Head of AI and Future Technologies Team
Fredrik Hofflander is Head of AFRY’s Future Technologies Team and chairman of AI Center's technical board

Can anyone start an AI journey?

Of course!

AI is like the slogan for the game Othello, “A minute to learn a lifetime to master!”. AI is also really important for anyone to learn. Of course, you don’t need to be a data scientist or even learn how to program. But it will become more and more important to understand what AI is. Not knowing about AI will soon be like not knowing about the internet or smartphones.

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The AAAI program is issued by AI Center, a global business ecosystem with members with a passion for AI in cooperation with AFRY.
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Together with AI Center, AFRY offers AAAI Program, can you tell us more about that?

The program is designed for consultants, developers, business managers and leaders who have mastered traditional business management skills and knowledge specific to their industries, but who have not yet had the opportunity to integrate AI into their businesses.

Among other things, the participants will be able to identify potential opportunities to improve their business, have the confidence to participate in AI related discussions by asking meaningful, insightful questions and get the best prerequisites to succeed on their AI journey by learning from shared knowledge, best practices and lessons learned.

Lastly, what is the next big thing with AI?

Technical wise I think that the next big thing is to make it possible for AI´s to learn from smaller training data. I believe that this will require even bigger amount of open data and really heavy computational power than we have today to create, since the AI would need to create some associations with earlier knowledge to understand the small data, this is how Humans thinks. This will not take us to what is known as General AI, but it will be a step on the way.

Practical wise I think that the largest impact on our life will be implementing technique that we already have. When AI become available for the general public it has often been around for some years. The largest changes here will probably happen within the transportation and industry sectors.

 

About the program

The AAAI program is issued by AI Center, a global business ecosystem with members with a passion for AI in cooperation with AFRY. The program is for participants who are interested to know how they, their business or customers can benefit from Artificial Intelligence in order to get the best prerequisites for a good start on their AI journey.

Our promise is two hours packed with incredibly inspiring and exciting content, but the program is not just a one-time learning experience, it gives you access to a network and expertise as well as an online interactive membership platform where you can exchange knowledge and experience.

Read more and sign up.

Fredrik Hofflander

Section Manager, Future Technologies