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Artificial Intelligence in Switzerland

What approach can be found in the country of cheese and banks?

Why have I suddenly decided to look at Switzerland? Well it just so happens that a good friend of mine is getting married in the small city of Berlingen. On this occasion in a small house by the lake I decided to take a moment to look into AI within this small country between countries.

Swiss AI Map

The first information that I found was Swisscom and its Swiss Artificial Intelligence Map. This outlines a large set of actors within different sectors. This report was made in the first quarter of 2019.

Swiss CEO AI Expectations

Another report by pwc from this year is named Artificial intelligence — Switzerland lags behind global competitors. This is based on a CEO survey that says most CEOs expect AI to rise the next five years, and two-thirds think it may have a greater impact than the Internet. It outlines the fact that Switzerland does not yet have an AI strategy and argues that it is taking a passive stance.

It also claims that the common factor of AI strategies is to be creating a comprehensive ecosystem. What becomes clear is that the Federal Council has set up a working group on AI (it did in 2018) and that it will present existing and new measures by autumn 2019.

Switzerland could become world leading

According to SITSI market research services Google apparently has more than 250 AI specialists in Zürich. In 2018 Switzerland had been ranked for seven consecutive years as the most innovative country in the world by Cornell University, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and INSEAD. Sabrina Donatelli additionally does in addition to this mention a few examples.

  • Bâloise partnered up with ETH spin-off Veezoo in developing an AI-supported virtual assistant.
  • ABB has partnered up with the likes of IBM in order to apply an AI-based system which would allow real-time analysis in production processes.
  • UBS, the bank has announced its plans to open up an AI competence center in Manno. Located close to the University of Lausanne’s world-renowned AI lab.

What do the Swiss People Think?

This is hard to gauge since I have not talked to all too many Swiss about AI, yet. Swissinfo has attempted to measure the perception of potential job threat by AI or robots.

So this was a short focus on Switzerland.

This is day 18 of #500daysofAI, I hope you enjoyed it.

What is #500daysofAI?

I am challenging myself to write and think about the topic of artificial intelligence for the next 500 days with the #500daysofAI. It is a challenge I invented to keep myself thinking of this topic and share my thoughts.

This is inspired by the film 500 Days of Summer where the main character tries to figure out where a love affair went sour, and in doing so, rediscovers his true passions in life.

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.