SGAICO Newsletter 01/2020

Dear SGAICO members,

it has been a while since you received some news from me, and I am sorry for the long time without a news from SGAICO.
There have been a number of direct contacts I had with some of you and a number of future developments have been started. So we now have news to tell you!

WELCOME CLAIRE CH
The CLAIRE initiative (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence in Europe) was launched in June 2018 and now has the support of more than 3,000 people representing the vast majority of Europe’s AI community, spanning academia and industry, research and innovation. The vision of CLAIRE –focusing on human-centered AI— is supported by 9 European governments and across 28 scientific association across Europe.
Given the strength of the Swiss research ecosystem, its thriving economic landscape and its historical tradition on the protection of human rights, Switzerland has an important role to play in the advancement of AI. For this reason, the CLAIRE Office Switzerland has been created in early 2020 to empower the Swiss AI community and create a bridge with European partners in the development of humane, trustworthy AI-powered solutions that are compatible with the social and economic interests of all stakeholders.
We are glad and proud of collaborating with SGAICO on the promotion and advancement of AI-related activities in Switzerland. Don’t hesitate in contacting us to know more about our upcoming activities.
CONTACT: Ricardo Chavarriaga, PhD
http://claire-ai.org | office-switzerland@claire-ai.org

SGAICO-MATTERS
In 2018 we started the fundamental question regarding the SGAICO transformation process ((see Newsletter from May 2018). Time to give you an update.

The original plan was to make SGAICO a joint working group of the Swiss Informatics Society (SI) and the Data + Service Alliance (D+S). However, for a number of legal aspects that had not been considered initially, it turned out that this transformation process would take longer and would be much harder. However, it is the mission of SGAICO to work for the AI community, for you. Thus, we tried to identify ways how we can serve you better, than working on our administrative backend.

SGAICO is and should enforce its position as a community of AI experts and people interested in it. Thus, we will lunch initiatives on cartography and support the Swiss AI to make its voice more clearer. In the following we will describe these activities.

Further more, we will join forces in these activities, intensifying our collaboration with the CLAIRE CH office and the SATW when we have common goals. Our interest is to contribute to the vision of ONE Swiss AI community, and therefore we need to overcome the current partially fractional status.

If you think one or more of these lines of activities are helpful, we love to hear about it, and would even be more happy if you would join in gaining momentum.

SGAICO future lines of activities:
– AI 4 ALL
– CH-AI-R

AI-4-ALL
We think it is important that a lot of people get a good insight what is AI (and what it is not). Thus, the education system for AI (currently starting at the university level) is an important field.
A first step to promote the AI education, is to create an overview
On our website we had already an overview about the education offers in AI available.
We have now updated the information, from a text into a more interactive map making working with the data for visitors hopefully a bit more pleasant. You might want to have a look: https://sgaico.swissinformatics.org/swiss-ai-education-map/

However, the data pool is still outdated. And we will continue working on complementing the map. If you give or know about AI courses, or courses that contain a substantial amount of AI (in one of it’s many flavors), please let us know!

BUT: Of course, education about AI is not a university exclusive!
AI is now present in numerous discussions and plenaries, for example. Maybe you have participated (actively or passively) such an event already.
We need your help here, as we do not know all events, and cannot attend all of them. So if you are invited to talk about AI, tell us about it, we love to spread the words. For instance, I was last year (31.10.2019) invited to a wonderful event, talking about AI, in which about 300 people participated, and it was a wonderful event to discuss with people what AI is, and what not. You can find a video of the event here.

CH-AI-R
We do not only want to map and promote the AI education, but also the AI research. Even though organizations like the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences (SATW) are interested as well in better understand the Swiss AI research landscape in better detail, it is a complex Endeavor, as AI researcher are today luckily(!) in so much places
For the AI researcher we want to start with two things:
1) We want to Support ongoing mapping activities, leading to a AI research map
2) We want, starting from this year an event for young AI scientists, in Switzerland. The event will be organized in a workshop (with online proceedings) event, and shall open the door for early-stage researchers into their journey into the AI research. So, a focus will be on supporting and developing the ideas of young researchers, before their ideas get published on the big international conferences.

AI and Industry
The exchange between people in industry and academia is an important aspect, from which both sides can profit, providing innovative products or services. This exchange is something we want to support. However, we think that the current format was not the most productive. Therefore we want to join force here with the Data and Service Alliance (https://data-service-alliance.ch), which main mission is to bring together these actors to create innovations. Thus, we want to build an expert group inside the Alliance that will mainly take care of this exchange, and which will collaborate with SGAICO.
If you are interested in helping forming this expert group, please contact us.

Final News:
We frequently receive e-mails which might be relevant for some of you. However, as I do not want to spam you, I will in the future keep the events section more often updated. Thus, you can found all information in one place. If you are interested in more pro-active information communication about events, please inform us! We could, if you are interested, provide an opt-in mailing list, to keep you up to date.

WE WANT YOU
As you have seen, SGAICO is trying to ramp up a number of activities for you, and hope to provide you, a member of the Swiss AI expert group, a valuable support. However, as there is much to do, and time is limited, we need sour help, too. Do you want to support us, with these activities, or do you want to discuss with us about additional activities SGAICO shall start? Please contact us (sgaico@swissinformatics.org).