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Artificial intelligence challenges and develops Swedish industry and public sector. Companies and organisations need to increase their competence within the field to maintain their competitiveness. Halmstad University meets this need and starts an AI education for professionals this coming autumn.
There are several examples of Swedish companies that use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their products. The most famous example is probably Spotify, where music is recommended to the users based on so-called deep learning – an area within AI. However, most of the AI development at Spotify is not done in Sweden, but in the United States. Another example is Stena Line, which uses AI tools to enhance its business and customer experience. And the company Zenuity (a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Autoliv) uses so-called artificial neural networks so that autonomous vehicles can understand complex traffic scenarios.
– Despite these good examples, our studies show that many Swedish companies lack deeper knowledge in computer science in general, and AI in particular. An update of the employees' knowledge and skills within AI is required in order for companies to compete in today's rapid technology development. The employee can follow our educational program at the same time as he or she is working, says project manager Stefan Byttner, Senior Lecturer at the School of Information Technology at Halmstad University.
The educational program is called "Data Analytics and Service Innovation based on Artificial Intelligence", and is aimed at professionals who wish to receive further education in AI (specifically Machine Learning), and business and service design based on AI. The program is on advanced level and comprises courses equivalent to 120 credits.
– The program is unique because it combines courses within both AI and service design. It's not enough to understand the technology alone – AI needs to be linked to people-centered service design in order to create value and benefit. This means that not only technology companies, but also design agencies and the public sector are affected by this area, says Pontus Wärnestål, Director of Service Design at InUse Experience and Senior Lecturer at Halmstad University.
The educational program is a so called "Expertkompetensprogram" finansed by the KK foundation. It is developed by Halmstad University, University of Skövde and RISE SICS. The program is supported by Volvo Cars, AB Volvo, Autoliv, Zenuity, Stena Line, Easyserv, Fysiotest, Hotswap, Jayway, Digital Reliance, InUse, RISE Viktoria and Nibe.
Companies that are interested in participating in the educational program are welcome to contact Stefan Byttner.
The initiative is well in line with the national focus on artificial intelligence recently presented by the Swedish government. Among other things, it is stated that:
Swedish universities need to educate enough people within AI, especially with regard to continuing and further education for professionals with completed academic degrees or equivalent.
Sweden needs strong AI content in non-technical education in order to create the conditions for broad and responsible application of the technology.
Sweden needs a strong link between research, higher education and innovation within AI.
– Extract from National focus on Artificial Intelligence (in Swedish), May 16, 2018.