29 May 2024

Recently, this year’s edition of ISY Day took place. Among other things, lectures, discussions, and demonstrations were offered within this year's theme "AI in Society, Education, and Research". A theme that is both current and highly relevant at the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Demo of autonomous vehicle in Visionen.

That artificial intelligence is here to stay seems clear to the research community. We humans therefore need to relate to this new technology, in society as well as in the education system and the research world. For this reason, the program committee chose AI as this year's theme for ISY Day.

Norms and Laws

The day began with a lecture by Stefan Larsson, who is an Associate Professor and Research team manager for AI and Society at Lund University. The lecture "AI and Norms: Old/soft/new" focused on how new technology can be implemented in symbiosis with society's norms and laws. How can this implementation be controlled when technology develops at the rapid pace it does? Who should be held accountable for what and when?

– There is a timing problem inherent in how regulation needs to synchronize with fast-moving technology fields to counteract undesirable consequences without dampening the desirable ones, Larsson argued.

Initiatives and Trends

Fredrik Heintz, Professor at the Department of Computer and Information Science (IDA) and Head of the Division of Artificial Intelligence and Integrated Computer Systems (AIICS), continued the day by lecturing on AI initiatives and trends in Europe and Sweden.

A recurring point was AI and humans, where Heintz argued that those who use AI outpace those who do not. For example, a study from a workplace was shown where new employees became fully trained for a position several months earlier with the help of ChatGPT, compared to those who were not allowed to use the tool.

Furthermore, Heintz showcased the many initiatives currently being taken within AI. For example, AI Sweden, Vinnova, RISE, AI Competence of Sweden, and not least the strategic research environments WASP and ELLIIT.

AI in Work and Studies

After a while of Mentimeter voting and discussions on how AI can be used in research and education, two lectures were offered that focused specifically on how staff and students at LiU can use AI today:

  • Johanna Nählinder, coordinator at the University Library, lectured on how different publishers relate to AI and publications.
  • Tobias Trofast, coordinator at the Digitalization Division, lectured on AI tools available to staff at Linköping University.

Demonstrations in Visionen

The afternoon ended in the research arena Visionen with a new series of demonstrations of autonomous vehicles. The series has been developed in collaboration between Visual Sweden and Linköping University with the aim of clearly and effectively showcasing the opportunities that Visionen's spaces and technology offer.

  • "The Puppet Master" demonstrated the arena's positioning system by allowing a small swarm of drones to follow the hand movements of a person.
  • "Hide and Seek" demonstrated an example of how the arena can be used in research as an intermediate step between simulation and reality. An autonomous lawnmower was allowed to explore an unknown virtual environment projected on the floor.

The day concluded with dinner at the University Club where Rebecka Delvert, HR partner, summarized the day.

– Personally, I thought it was most interesting to discuss the use of AI among students and how we can relate to it. 80% of those who participated in answering the Mentimeter questions believe that generative AI is either interesting or even revolutionary. It therefore feels highly relevant that we could focus on the topic for a while. Continuing the day with a communal dinner and the opportunity to socialize a bit more was a wonderful conclusion.

 

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