Welcome to the Ethics of AI webinar on 27 November

Welcome to the online event on the ethics of artificial intelligence! Join our webinar on 27 November at 13:00-15:00 (Helsinki EET). The event is organised by the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Centre for Artificial Intelligence FCAI in collaboration with the City of Helsinki.

In this event, you will learn about real-life challenges and solutions regarding the use of artificial intelligence. You will also get acquainted with the newly published open online course Ethics of AI, where you can enhance your own skills in addressing these issues. You will also hear more about the challenges and possibilities of using artificial intelligence in public services in the cities of Helsinki, London and Amsterdam and the Ministry of Finance of Finland.

Our keynotes are  Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki and Pekka Ala-Pietilä, chair of the EU commission High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence.

The programme for the event:

Friday, 27 November 13:00-15:00 (Helsinki EET)
Opening words
Vice-Rector Paula Eerola, University of Helsinki

Implementing the ethics of AI in the City of Helsinki
Jan Vapaavuori, mayor of the City of Helsinki

Introducing the new Ethics of AI open online course
Sasu Tarkoma, Anna-Mari Rusanen & Jukka K. Nurminen, University of Helsinki

Keynote: EU and the Ethics of AI
Pekka Ala-Pietilä, chair of the EU commission High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence

4 examples demonstrating the use of artificial intelligence in public services: the University of Helsinki and public administration solving challenges together

  • From Reactive to Preventive Healthcare on peoples' terms. City of Helsinki, Mikko Rusama
  • City of Amsterdam, Linda van de Fliert
  • City of London, Theo Blackwell
  • How should AI ethics manifest in the future? – AuroraAI. Ministry of Finance of Finland, Ira Alanko

Moderators Anna-Mari Rusanen and Jukka K. Nurminen, the creators of the Ethics of AI course from the University of Helsinki

The host of the event is Santeri Räisänen.

Join us online
Watch the live stream
Join the conversation in Presemo

Registration link
After the event, we will send the recording of the event for registered participants.

The event is free, open for the public and with a chance to open discussion. The event is going to be held in English. It will be broadcasted from Tiedekulma - Think Corner but due to the covid-restrictions, it is possible to attend only online. Warm welcome!

Find out more about Helsinki Centre for Data Science HiDATA and Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI.

More about the speakers:

Paula Eerola is the Vice-Rector of research, researcher education and innovation at the University of Helsinki. Eerola’s duties also entail business collaboration as well as the University’s internal IT services. Paula Eerola has served as Professor of experimental elementary particle physics since 2008. Eerola’s work history also includes leading the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP) and the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Eerola has been a member of the Finnish Academy of Engineering Sciences since 2016 and a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters since 2012.


Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki After an extensive career in Finnish national politics, Mr. Jan Vapaavuori became the Mayor of Helsinki in June 2017 after winning the election with a record number of votes. As his first task he set forth a city strategy which champions Helsinki as the “most functional city in the world”. From 2012 to 2015 Mr. Vapaavuori served as Minister of Economic Affairs and in 2007 – 2011 as Minister of Housing. Since 2015 he worked as Vice President of the European Investment Bank. As Minister of Economic Affairs, he negotiated the Meyer Turku shipyard sale that played a key role in renewing the Finnish maritime industry. As the Minister of Housing Mr. Vapaavuori created a program that resulted in a decrease of long-term homelessness by fifty percent - a model that has gained international recognition.  From 2003 to 2015 Mr. Vapaavuori was a Member of the Finnish Parliament. In addition to his career in national politics, Mr. Vapaavuori has been a long-standing Member of the Helsinki City Council. Mr. Vapaavuori graduated as Master of Law from the University of Helsinki. He holds an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Hanken School of Economics.


Pekka Ala-Pietilä Chairman of the Board of packaging company Huhtamaki and media company Sanoma as well as a member of the Supervisory Board of SAP. In addition, he operates in expert groups: Chairman of the European Artificial Intelligence High Level Expert Group (2018 – 2020) and Chairman of the Steering Group of Artificial Intelligence Program in Finland, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (2017 – 2019). Pekka Ala-Pietilä acts as a mentor for many young future experts and decision makers. Pekka Ala-Pietilä was a Co-founder and CEO of Blyk Services Oy during 2006-2011. In 1984-2005 Pekka Ala-Pietilä worked in several different positions in Nokia Oyj. From 1992 onwards, he was a member of Nokia Oyj’s Group Executive Board. During 1992-1998, he was the President of the Mobile Phones segment and during 1999-2005 the President of Nokia Oyj.


Sasu Tarkoma is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki and Head of the Department of Computer Science. He is also Director of the Helsinki Center for Data Science and affiliated with the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT and the Finnish Center for AI (FCAI).  He is chairman of the Finnish Scientific Advisory Board for Defence (MATINE). He has authored 4 textbooks and has published over 200 scientific articles.  He has seven granted US Patents. His research has received a number of Best Paper awards and mentions, for example at IEEE PerCom, ACM CCR, and ACM OSR. As an example flagship research project, he is leading the MegaSense project, which aims at deploying a wide array of low-cost urban air-monitoring stations and employing the data in prediction models.

Dr. Anna-Mari Rusanen is a philosopher of artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences. She is a principal investigator in the Philosophy of Intelligent Cognitive Systems research group (Cognitive science, University of Helsinki). Her research topics vary from the philosophical foundations of artificial intelligence to the cognitive dynamics of human-machine interaction, and from the ethical issues to the nature of computational explanations.Currently she works as a university lecturer in cognitive science, (Department of Digital Humanities, University of Helsinki), and also as a senior specialist on ethical and societal aspects of AI in Ministry of Finance (Finnish Governance).


Jukka K. Nurminen started as professor of computer science at the University of Helsinki in spring 2019. He has worked extensively on software research in industry at Nokia Research Center, in academia at Aalto University, and in applied research at VTT. His key research contributions are on energy-efficient software as well as mobile peer-to-peer and cloud solutions but his experience ranges widely from applied optimization to AI, from network planning tools to mobile apps, and from software project management to tens of patented inventions. He received his MSc degree in 1986 and PhD degree in 2003 from Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University). Currently his main interests are tools and techniques for developing data-intensive software systems including testing of AI solutions, computational moral, and software development for quantum computers.


Mikko Rusama is the first Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at the City of Helsinki. Helsinki’s vision is to be the world’s most functional city that makes the best use of digitalization. Mikko is heading the digital regeneration of the City. His task is to advance the utilisation of digitalisation in the City organisation, produce digital reforms essential to the implementation of the City Strategy and manage the related processes of change. Mikko has more than 20 years’ versatile experience within the development of digital services and products, mainly in the media, games and public sectors. Earlier he held the position of CDO at Finland's national public service broadcasting company Yle. In addition to Yle, Mikko has worked for companies such as Sanoma, Sulake, European Game and Entertainment Technology and Codetoys. Mikko has MSc in Computer Science and MBA from the Henley Business School.


Linda van de Fliert; Innovation Officer - City of Amsterdam Linda van de Fliert is part of the Chief Technology Office of the City of Amsterdam, working towards responsible and trustworthy use of technology in Amsterdam. Linda is the lead for several projects on fair and transparent AI. She’s developing several tools to operationalize and implement the somewhat abstract concepts of AI ethics in the Cities use of AI and algorithms; for example through procurement conditions and a public AI register. Linda is also working together with other Dutch and international governments to further develop these and other tools to global standards for responsible AI.


Theo Blackwell; Chief Digital Officer – London Mayors Office Theo was appointed in 2017 as London's first Chief Digital Officer to lead on London-wide digital transformation, data and smart city initiatives at City Hall.  Since then he has developed the Smart London Together Roadmap (2018) and initiated a series of programmes to build London’s collective capability for innovation including the establishment of the London Office of Technology and Innovation, the Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenges and the Connected London Programme for fibre infrastructure.  Theo is currently supporting the city’s Recovery programme, developing a new London Datastore and a city-wide Charter for Emerging Technology.


Ira Alanko, MScEcon, is the Programme Manager of the Finnish National Artificial Intelligence Programme AuroraAI. The Finnish National Artificial Intelligence Program AuroraAI (2020–2022) combines contemporary technology, well-designed service chains and a human-centric approach to good governance. Ira has a track-record of promoting digitalisation, innovation and experimentation in the Finnish public sector.



Santeri Räisänen is a PhD student in Science and Technology Studies at the Center for Consumer Society Research and one of the cocreators of the open online course Ethics of AI. Santeri has a background in philosophy and mathematics, and his current research revolves around the technological narratives surrounding data practices, and their role in sociotechnical change. Santeri is also part of the editorial team of the Zelda Zine online magazine, funded by Kone Foundation.