SciLifeLab Science Summit 2019: Artificial Intelligence in Life Sciences


I am visiting again and this time for a collaboration with Professor Minna Salminen-Karlsson. Coming to Uppsala means also an opportunity to be part of many interesting seminars and workshops on a multitude of themes. One such event suggested to me by my PhD supervisor Professor Åsa Cajander, is the SciLifeLab Science Summit at Uppsala Konsert & Kongress on the 15th of May. There were many eminent researchers present to share their work along with poster presentations from many universities. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Hiroaki Kitano from The Systems Biology Institute in the area of computational biology.  

The most interesting part of the summit for me was the section on Socially Intelligent Systems and Robots delivered by Professor Helena Lindgren (Umeå University). The topic of discussion was to develop AI based tools to improve people’s everyday activities and empowering the individuals. Professor Lindgren specifically discussed such an application in the healthcare sector. To create intelligent systems with empathy, AI systems that patients, their relatives and caregivers can interact with and adapt the decision depending on the situation. Several interesting discussions took place after the talk. There were questions regarding the roadblocks related to ethics and cultural aspects to consider when implementing such a system.

A session on AI Governance by Andreas Theodorou (Umeå University) stressed on having a set of general and specific standards and laws to govern the field of innovation in AI sparking debates on whether such standards and laws would hinder innovation in the field or promote transparency. More specifically he discussed about AI guidelines for ethical, legal, social, economic and cultural issues to ensure better accountability, responsibility and transparency.  He also introduced and discussed the EU project for AI, AI4EU ( I personally feel that having too many regulations too soon may result in a conservative approach to AI innovation. The day ended for me here as other presentations were really in the area of computational biology.

Looking forward to more such events during my stay!

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