How does artificial intelligence become real?

Jukka K. Nurminen, professor of computer science, is exploring which questions must be answered to make artificial intelligence part of our everyday life.

What are your research topics?

I study artificial intelligence and how it can be made part of people’s everyday life. My research is focused on technological solutions and tools that help software developers solve tricky problems related to, for example, ethics.

Currently, the factors under consideration in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence include how to ensure the reliability of systems, how to maintain them, how to produce systems effectively on an industrial scale and how the enormous need for computing power required by the use of AI models and the provision of related education could be met in an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?

Self-driving cars are an example of complex systems where a module that includes artificial intelligence is linked with the operations of dozens of other software modules. How can such a combination be made sufficiently secure in terms of data and reliable enough for people to be able to use it? Who is responsible for mistakes made by artificial intelligence?

For decades, methods for efficiently designing reliable software have been developed in research focused on software engineering, but new methods are needed since artificial intelligence evolves through the accumulation of data. Developers have to consider the direction in which data is guiding artificial intelligence.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?

The attraction of information technology is based on its rapid development. There is always something interesting to learn, such as the use and programming of quantum computers at the moment.

Multidisciplinarity is another matter that interests me: many problems, such as ethical questions, require collaboration, for which there are ample opportunities at the University of Helsinki.


Jukka K. Nurminen is a professor of computer science at the Faculty of Science.