AI4Research project officially inaugurated

5 October 2020

Vice rectors Johan Tysk, Tora Holmberg and Mats Larhed shortly after cutting the ribbon. In the foreground sit Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Malmberg and honorary member Anders Wall.

AI4Research was inaugurated at Uppsala University on Friday afternoon. The project will gather researchers with a wide range of knowledge from all of the University’s disciplinary domains to work on both basic and applied research into artificial intelligence from various perspectives.

“Now, the ribbon has been cut and the operation is underway. Welcome to Carolina Rediviva!”

So concluded head librarian Lars Burman the inauguration ceremony to mark the start of the research project and the inauguration of the purpose-built premises in Carolina Rediviva, the University Library. And according to Lars Burman, the library – a naturally interdisciplinary environment in which cutting-edge research has been conducted for 200 years – is an excellent location for ultra-modern research.

Due to the current special circumstances, only the speakers attended the ceremony in Carolina Rediviva, which was broadcast digitally and made available to the public via a link.

AI4Research is a five-year project tasked with strengthening, renewing and developing research into artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The project offers researchers funding to cover at least half of full-time employment for a maximum sabbatical period of one year. The project’s scientific leader is Beijer Professor of Artificial Intelligence Thomas Schön.

Making robust investment possible

During his speech, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Malmberg took the opportunity to thank Anders Wall and the Beijer Foundation for helping the University to make more robust research investments than would otherwise have been possible. For his part, Anders Wall said that it was a great honour to be present at the inauguration and expressed his delight in seeing the value generated in the business community used for the benefit of knowledge and society.

Political scientist Alexandra Segerberg and Matteo Magnani of the Department of Information Technology briefly described their joint project on digital media and politics.

The University’s three vice-rectors all attended the inauguration. Johan Tysk, vice-rector of the Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, highlighted the special nature of the AI4Research investment, in that it deals with AI as a scientific tool.
 
“As it becomes a research tool, AI will also make its way into education. This will greatly increase competence,” said Johan Tysk.