Mountain range in Geiranger, Norway by @andozo

The Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR)

Pushing Frontiers From Norway’s South Coast

Does it sound like a good idea to study complex computing in the middle of nature close to the mountains of Norway? Well, a group of researchers thought so, and they built a centre amongst mountains and green on the south coast in the land of fjords.

Yesterday I interviewed Morten Goodwin the Deputy Director of Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR). After our talk and hearing all the exciting projects he was working on my interest was sparked. It was clear I needed to dive deeper, or learn deeper, to understand the research community that is being built here focused on artificial intelligence (AI).

House of CAIR is a centre for research excellence on artificial intelligence at the University of Agder in Norway’s south coast, but what do they focus on? Their research aims to impact health, education, safety, and sustainable energy. This focus includes:

  1. Developing artificial morality
  2. Realizing fully explainable artificial intelligence
  3. Building an artificial intelligence that understands cause and effect
  4. Providing artificial intelligence that masters natural language
  5. Making artificial intelligence available everywhere, from the smallest devices to large supercomputers.

They have a supercomputer stationed at their university (check out the specs here) and they have 28 researchers from around Europe working actively within these different areas. The EU recently passed a resolution that earmarks €20 billion annually for the purpose of research into artificial intelligence. This are funds CAIR strongly intends to compete for. The following information is fetched from their website and maps out the history of the research centre:

April 2017: CAIR is established

The Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) is established at Campus Grimstad, UiA.

March 2018: The Tsetlin machine is launched

Ole-Christoffer Granmo launches the Tsetlin machine, a new method for artificial intelligence which, in several respects, has proved itself to be quicker, simpler and more precise than established methods.

September 2018: A European network is formed

Over 2000 actors from 29 European countries, amongst them CAIR and several other Norwegian research institutions, will join to make up the network CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe). The aim is to strengthen Europe’s role within the research and development of artificial intelligence.

October 2018: Norwegian network is established

In order to strengthen the Norwegian research environment in artificial intelligence, CAIR pushes ahead with the establishment of NORA (Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium). Partners here are UiA, the Arctic University of Norway (UiT), OsloMet, the University of Bergen, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Simula Research Laboratory AS and the University of Oslo.

October 2018: The Tsetlin machine goes forward and inspires international researchers

Professor Ole-Christoffer Granmo’s Tsetlin machine has been trialled in an increasing number of new research fields since its launch in April. Granmo has two new research articles ready to be published. At the same time, foreign research environments are beginning to trial the new method together with their various partners within health, medicine and energy.

November 2018: Professor Granmo’s company becomes advisor to the European Commission

The European Commission brings in Ole-Christoffer Granmo’s company, Anzyz Technologies, as part of an advisory committee to the commission in Brussels. The company is to give advice, amongst other things, concerning the use of artificial intelligence within fields such as health, security and law.

November 2018: CAIR becomes a centre for research excellence and establishes House of CAIR

In order to recognise research efforts of national and international class, the Board of UiA decides that CAIR is to be one of the university’s centres for research excellence. As such, CAIR will be assigned extra resources. As early as in November, it was decided that three new computers with enormous computing power were to be purchased. At the same time, a further five were approved to be purchased within the near future. The new machines give CAIR such large computing power that the research centre will be attractive for international collaborative partners. The international research centre, House of CAIR, is established, and the first partners are universities from Edinburgh, Newcastle, Groningen, Luleå, Ottawa and Pittsburgh.

*I may update the article with information from 2019 later.

This is day 27 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.



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