On the 40th anniversary conference of the Department of Computer and Information Science (IDA), Fredrik Heintz, professor at IDA, spoke about the future of AI in Sweden, Europe and beyond. 

Fredrik HeintzFredrik Heintz Photo credit Magnus Johansson

Fredrik Heintz stated that "AI is here NOW and progress is quick". It is a general purpose technology, meaning it affects a wide range of other technologies and an entire economy, further accelerating its development.

"This also means that it becomes much harder to manage, you can't just put it in a box or under a division, it will change how we work on many things", said Fredrik Heintz.

About risks

Alongside the need for infrastructure and political leadership in this development, he mentioned some risks associated with AI that have been raised in debates. One such risk is that AI will outcompete humans in different fields. However, Fredrik Heintz believes more in a future where people effectively using AI will outcompete those that don't. 

"The same applies to organisations: those that can take advantage of the technology will naturally have a significant advantage over those that cannot."

Computational thinking

Toward the end of his presentation, Fredrik Heintz discussed the concept of computational thinking and its close relationship with AI. How can we make people better at solvingFredrik Heintz presenting on stageFredrik Heintz Photo credit Magnus Johansson problems using computers (computational thinking)? On the other hand, how can we make computers solve problems more like humans, where computers learn from how humans solve problems (AI)? In such a way that, as a result, it can improve people's problem-solving via computers.

"I believe that the biggest scientific breakthroughs related to AI will not be within AI itself but within other sciences that use AI as part of their methodology. We are now seeing this happening in various fields. The AI methodology enables us to tackle larger and more complex problems compared to more manual methods," said Fredrik Heintz.

He concluded with an overview of the current status in Europe regarding the development of reliable AI technology that complies with EU (and Swedish) regulations and legislative requirements.


Reported by Marie Beckman

AI at Linköping University

IDA40 Anniversary Conference 2023