Every year, a European survey is conducted to identify established AI startups that are at the forefront. This year, another Umeå University-based company, VeRAI, qualified for the list. "We are so happy to be chosen for this," says Andreas Theodorou, researcher in responsible AI and one of the founders of VeRAI.
Text: Petra Wester
Andreas Theodorou is a AI-researcher at the Departmen of Computing Science and his research focuses on responsible AI - etical and social values
ImagePaul Clarke, Kollage: Petra Wester
AI Sweden, Ignite Sweden and RISE have joined forces to select the best AI startups that can help accelerate and contribute to the application of AI in Sweden and Europe. The aim of the initiative is to show which actors companies can trust and turn to for support in their development of technological solutions.
This year, over 270 applications have been received from Sweden alone and it is now clear that 26 companies have qualified for the list, one of them being the Umeå-based VeRAI. VeRAI is a spin-off from the Department of Computer Science, Umeå University and it's founded by Andreas Theodorou, Virginia Dignum and Mattias Brännström. The company focuses on consulting services related to ethical, societal, legal and organisational aspects of the development, use and deployment of artificial intelligence. “Society is facing new technological innovations and we at VeRAI can help with ensuring that companies' AI solutions are reliable and robust, with a strong focus on responsible and ethical AI. The company is based on cutting-edge research in the field and we target stakeholders in both society and industry," says Andreas Theodorou.
VeRAI is working towards a tool for conducting in-depth assessment by considering socio-ethical values both in the model, the development and the usage processes. Users of their tools can then identify the socio-technical context that will be able to guide their assessment process, manage required evidence, and provide a scoring mechanism. “We are in the process of alpha testing it with select industrial and public partners. Our aim is to remove barriers, such as costs and lack of expertise, for conducting ethical assessment of AI solutions says Andreas Theodorou.
For better collaboration
The European AI Startup Landscape will act as a quality stamp for the selected startups and provide important information to companies, investors, governments and academia. Startups are important as they provide the necessary solutions in the latest technologies. The list already includes several Umeå-based companies with close links to research from the Department of Computing Science. Adlede has recently developed a digital advertising platform for several Danish media houses. Codemill develops systems for the BBC, The Guardian and Pro Sieben. Also, from Umeå is Infobaleen, which has developed an AI-driven platform that transforms transactional data into insights on computer graphics and data science. Shimmercat, which develops smart e-commerce solutions, and Prediktera, rooted in multivariate data analytics research. It also includes Algoryx, which also recently joined a Silicon Valley accelerator program, and Elastisys, which offers a secure container platform for cloud applications with regulatory requirements.