- With the help of AI, we can develop the common welfare in new ways and tackle major societal challenges more efficiently. It is central that Sweden's municipalities and civil society are on that journey, which is why we are making this gathering of forces together with AI Sweden. It is an important complement to other investments to take advantage of the possibilities of digitization, says Darja Isaksson, director general, Vinnova.
In a report that DIGG, the Agency for Digital Administration, submitted to the government in early 2020, artificial intelligence is estimated to be able to create economic value in public activities equivalent to SEK 140 billion annually. But in order for that promise to be fulfilled, a broad understanding of the technology's possibilities and how it is best utilized is required.
Gathering power for AI in municipalities and civil society is a joint initiative from Vinnova and AI Sweden. Within the framework of the investment, AI Sweden will support municipalities and organizations in civil society in a number of different ways in the practical implementation.
- To first understand and then in practice take advantage of the possibilities of artificial intelligence are challenges that are not reasonable for all the country's municipalities to tackle each one separately, says Viktoria Josefsson, programme manager at AI Sweden, and continues:
- A central part will therefore be to create a platform for cooperation and exchange of experience between municipalities. Here there are great synergy effects to bring home, because the needs of one municipality often recur in many of the country's other 289. Civil society in turn consists of many different types of organizations, but we also believe here that there are many common challenges to learn from and share experiences from.
In concrete terms, the support from AI Sweden will span a wide field: It will, among other things, be about training, helping to find suitable areas of use for AI and creating opportunities for learning and dialogue.
- In order for this work to have the greatest imaginable effect, we want to connect as many municipalities and actors from civil society as possible to the collection of forces. The decisive factor is not whether you use AI today, the decisive factor is whether you are curious about how the business can utilize a completely new toolbox. If you are, you should contact us, says Viktoria Josefsson.
Funding opportunities from Vinnova also create conditions for putting ideas into practice. During three periods, it will be possible to apply for funds for concrete development projects, and in addition there will be a call for proposals tailored to produce shareable resources and solutions.