Support for artificial intelligence research - major turning point affecting researchers in computer science and the digital humanities

At the end of last year, the Academy of Finland granted more than 13 million euros in programme-based funding to support research into artificial intelligence (AI). Just over 6 million euros was granted to AI-related research projects under the ICT 2023 programme and 7 million euros to research projects under the Academy Programme AIPSE (Novel Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Physical Sciences and Engineering Research).

The research, development and innovation programme ICT 2023 is jointly coordinated by the Academy of Finland and Business Finland (formerly Tekes). The aim of the programme is to further improve Finland's scientific expertise in computer science and to promote the extensive application of ICT. The AIPSE Academy Programme, in turn, promotes the utilization of AI in physical sciences and engineering research.

Different types of data-driven methods are continuing to gain in importance in research, administration and industry. The rapid development of various methods that utilize AI owes much to the advances that have been made in machine learning, pattern recognition, statistics, data mining and computational and software-based database technology. Other factors contributing to the rise of AI include the exponential growth of computing power. These new methods have broad application prospects in scientific research, too.

"Machine learning research is very advanced in Finland, so it is rewarding to see the methods being taken into wider use throughout society. We support researchers by offering heavy GPU computing capacity required by artificial intelligence applications, by maintaining software required in computing, and by organizing courses. This is a major turning point that affects various research groups from computer science to the digital humanities. Completely new branches of science are introducing computational methods with the help of ready-made applications, such as computer vision toolkits. To support new user groups we also invest in the development of easy-to-use services," says Aleksi Kallio, Development Manager at CSC.

Taking part in the AIPSE project are many distinguished researchers who have long used CSC services.

Academy Professor Hannu Häkkinen (University of Jyväskylä) and Professor Tommi Kärkkäinen are working on a breakthrough in their computational study of nanomaterials as part of their AIPSE program of the Academy of Finland.

"The results of the research help in the development of new kinds of nanoparticles that can be used for purposes such as biological imaging, catalytic reactions, and as biological indicators. The new algorithms and software that we get as a result will benefit the structural research of nanomaterials more extensively as well," says Academy Professor Hannu Häkkinen in a press release put out by the University of Jyväskylä.

A project by Adam Foster (Aalto University) offers the possibility to develop an approach of systematic machine learning in the understanding and prediction of atomic force microscopy images. Computational tomographic atomic force microscopy is increasingly used in nano-scale characterization in many types of physical, biological, and chemical processes.

Patrick Rinke (Aalto University) studies microscopic structures by developing methods of artificial intelligence and combining them with quantum mechanical simulations. Functional hybrid materials are compounds formed out of organic molecules and inorganic crystals which improve the functional characteristics of both components and are capable of carrying out special functions in new applications and devices. Controlling the functionality of these materials requires better information on their detailed microscopic structure.

Press releases by the Academy of Finland and the University of Jyväskylä were used as sources.