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Published: 2022-03-28

Embassy visit to Umeå University

NEWS Last week, the university received a visit from the Portuguese ambassador to discuss stronger cooperation in European AI research. The ambassador Sara Martins was welcomed by WASP-HS programme director Virginia Dignum. - It was a fruitful meeting and a start for future networking, says Virginia Dignum.

Text: Petra Wester

The development and impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a large-scale impact on individuals, organisations and countries. Many EU nations are now working towards 'good AI' and are seeking cross-border cooperation to establish legal, ethical and economic frameworks in AI, among other things. WASP-HS is a national research programme coordinated by Umeå University that investigates the challenges and impacts of AI.

"During the meeting, we had the opportunity to present the WASP-HS programme and the research that is currently being conducted and we see good opportunities for continued collaboration," says Professor Virginia Dignum.

In June 2019, the Portuguese government presented a national AI strategy to define the country's challenges and opportunities for the growing AI ecosystem in Portugal. During the WASP-HS meeting, the need to create a strong network of European researchers and industries in AI was discussed, with a particular focus on strengthening ties between Sweden and Portugal. It is hoped that the network will facilitate international collaboration and responsible innovation of AI.

"A joint conference will now take place in Stockholm this autumn where Portuguese and Swedish companies and researchers will meet to further the discussion and highlight different perspectives", says Pedro Sanches, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Informatics and Principal Investigator at WASP-HS.

More about WASP-HS

The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program - Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) is a national research program. Research in the program examines the challenges and impacts of future technology shifts and contributes to the development of theories and methods for human and societal aspects of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. Particular focus is placed on the ethical, economic, labour market, social, cultural and legal aspects of the technology transition. In total, the Wallenberg Foundations are investing up to SEK 660 million in the WASP-HS research programme, a large part of which will go towards funding the more than 40 research projects currently underway. The projects are stationed at a total of 12 universities and research institutes around Sweden. The programme's graduate school also involves more than 70 PhD students.