All over the world, Artificial Intelligence is something that interests people and gets them talking. Matias Luukkanen, Data Analyst at Houston Analytics, had the chance to experience this himself when he was offered the opportunity to hold a seminar presentation on AI at the premises of the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN in New York. The aim was to provide Finnish diplomats with training on the opportunities offered by AI. Kai Sauer, the UN’s Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Finland, also attended the event.
“When people talk about AI, they often focus on very large concepts, such as potential threats and the opportunities offered by cognitive models. The fundamental matter is not the new technology but rather new and efficient ways of utilising methods that have been proven effective, in other words, automation of functions and machine learning. For example, a simple linear regression model can achieve really great results. This is a simple machine learning perspective that emphasises efficiency,” says Matias Luukkanen.
Though the application opportunities of AI prompted lively conversation, the most interesting discussion concerned the moral issues related to AI. Is it right to transfer decision-making power to a machine when the decisions have a significant effect on people’s lives? For example, can a machine really make an independent decision on something like approving a loan?
“I think so. When implemented correctly, a machine’s decisions can actually be fairer than those made by a person. The important thing here is that the process needs to be highly specified, which means that the person programming the computer needs to think closely about what is right, what needs to be taken into account and what constitutes the decision-making process,” continues Matias.
Houston now considers the USA as a new, potential target market - successful networking is one important step towards the first client relationships. Matias Luukkanen feels the seminar was a good continuation to Houston Analytics’ Growth to USA 2018 autumn programme.