Press release | Date: 08/02/2019 | Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to have a huge impact on developments in society. Artificial intelligence can provide us with new tools to resolve challenges in society, improve public services, and contribute to increased wealth creation in trade and industry. However, this technology also entails challenges, especially related to ethics and protection of personal data. The government has therefore decided to draw up a coordinated strategy for this important field,” says Norway’s Minister of Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup.
Work on the strategy has just started and is scheduled to be completed in the course of 2019. The strategy will cover a range of topics, including:
- How Norway can build up its expertise and position in artificial intelligence through education, research and innovation.
- How best to enable Norway to adopt artificial intelligence, for example through digital competence, adaptation to changes in working life, and the use of artificial intelligence in the public sector.
- Ensuring that Norway can exploit commercial opportunities linked to artificial intelligence – including how to regulate and facilitate the use of artificial intelligence through the collection, standardisation and publication of data.
- Technologies that enable artificial intelligence, such as broadband, 5G, high performance computing, etc.
- Ethical guidelines, personal data protection, and ICT security.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise the public sector too. Systems based on artificial intelligence can be used to interpret and understand large volumes of information, providing a foundation for better, more targeted services.
“There are already a lot of exciting things happening in this area. For example, the Research Council of Norway is supporting a lighthouse project at the Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics at Oslo University Hospital where AI is going to be used to make more precise cancer diagnoses than pathologists can currently manage. This in turn has the potential to allow more patients to receive better, more targeted treatment,” says Astrup.
Norway is an active participant in the international work on artificial intelligence and ethical guidelines, for example through the EU, OECD and Council of Europe.
“Technology must serve people, and the solutions we use must safeguard important rights, such as protection of personal data and the rule of law", says Astrup.
The newly appointed Minister of Digitalisation, Nikolai Astrup, has already visited several exciting artificial intelligence projects.
“And I intend to continue with this. To get the best possible strategy, we need input from the private sector, the public sector, academia and NGOs in the work ahead,” says Astrup.
Many of the policy areas that are important prerequisites for the successful exploitation of artificial intelligence, such as broadband and 5G, access to public data, and suitable regulations, are areas that the government has been working on for a long time. In recent years, additional funding has been made available for university places in ICT and ICT security – areas that are essential to be able to understand and use artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence is also discussed in the Digital21 strategy developed by and for businesses. This strategy highlights artificial intelligence and adjacent areas such as big data, the Internet of Things and autonomous systems as particularly important technological areas for Norway in the future.
“The role and needs of industry will of course be an important focus area in the work on the strategy. We need to see how we can best enable businesses to leverage artificial intelligence for increased value creation,” says Astrup.
The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation’s press telephone: (+47) 22 24 25 00