This is my personal list of 24 people to follow in 2024 for responsible artificial intelligence in Norway
Why did I make this list? As I hope you may come to understand from this list there a great variety of actors working actively for more responsible AI in Norway. The range of the work is astounding and contributes to a more informed discussion about AI in Norwegian society, and beyond our borders. There should be no doubt that it is possible to be inspired towards more responsible AI in Norway in 2024.
What does responsible artificial intelligence (AI) in Norway mean? The people on this list are based in Norway, and may work towards a more international audience having an influence beyond the borders of Norway. They range from technical talent, government officials, founders, and journalists. Responsible AI could mean work on specific products or a systemic approach to a more informed general public, so this list is broad rather than narrow.
How was the selection made? The list is not made by any objective measures, it is based on what I have seen working full-time in AI policy and ethics for the last three-four years in Norway. These are people that inspire me and I want to follow in the next year. This list is made up of people that I think could have a significant impact on the field of AI in 2024 for Norway.
Do you agree, disagree or do you have names to add? If you disagree or have names to add I would be happy to learn your opinion either here in the comments on Medium or on LinkedIn where I post fairly often these days.
There are also a range of people that could have made it onto this list, but these are top-of-mind picks that I think you should consider for 2024. In this list I will provide a ‘why’ and a short description of each person. If you are from Norway there may be some more or less obvious names, and hopefully some surprises that you can add to your list. If you are from elsewhere, I hope this can help you to begin navigating the responsible AI community Norway for the coming year.
This is a list and should not be considered as a ranking.
1. Heidi E. I. Dahl
Why: Heidi is leading Responsible AI at the Norwegian Postal Service (Posten AS). She also helps coordinate a technical leadership network for AI across the Norwegian public sector.
Heidi E. I. Dahl is a well known name in the Norwegian big data community, having run Tekna’s Professional Network on Big Data. She did her PhD in Computer Aided Design. From being a Research Scientist in SINTEF Digital she leads Responsible AI and is a Senior Data Scientist at Posten Bring AS. She also helped set up the Leadership in Artificial Intelligence in Public Sector (LEKIO) gathering the public sector to discuss AI and learn from each other. She was also a central actor in bringing together the research project Ethical risks assessment of Artificial Intelligence in practice (ENACT) https://www.enactai.no/.
2. Ishita Barua
Why: the most clear voice for AI in Norwegian healthcare with a book on the topic and a track record of research as well as increasing involvement in practical applications with her startup.
Ishita Barua is a doctor (MD) and has a PhD in artificial intelligence within medicine. She is an award-winning AI researcher and has been a visiting researcher at Harvard Medical School as a Fulbright Scholar. She is the Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at Livv Health, a health-tech startup. She has previously worked as the Lead AI in Healthcare at Deloitte. Ishita is an expert on application and clinical validation of AI in Medicine. She has also been named one of Norway’s 50 leading Tech women. Ishita Barua is the author of the book Artificial intelligence saves lives — AI is the doctors’ new superpowers, which was published in autumn 2023.
3. Inga Strümke
Why: public voice on AI, best selling author and research on explainable AI (XAI) as well as other topics (quantum physics amongst them).
Inga Strümke is the author of the bestselling book in Norway: “Maskiner som tenker.” She won a prestigious national Brage award in literature within her category and the research communicator of the year from the Research Council of Norway. Inga researched the use of machine learning in particle physics in her PhD, and has been active in the field ever since. Beneath her favourite question “How does the universe work?”, lies a layer of “How can we understand the world we live in?”, which speaks right to artificial intelligence (AI). Inga holds an Associate Professor position at the Norwegian Open AI Lab, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, She has previously worked on trustworthy AI and algorithm auditing at PwC, received the University of Bergen’s outreach prize in 2019, and was awarded “ One of Norway’s 50 leading women in tech 2020.
4. Per Kristian Bjørkeng
Why: one of the journalists in Norway most knowledgable about the field of AI with a long history of writing books and articles on the topic. Journalism is perhaps more important than ever in society, and journalists need to take a role in the development and use of AI.
In general terms known as the AI journalist in Norway. Yes, there are other journalists that write about AI, yet Per Kristian Bjørkeng has covered the field for a long time also actively engaged in writing for the general public. He has been working as a technology journalist in Aftenposten’s cultural editorial department. Writes about the problems and opportunities new technology creates for us humans. He is the author of three books on how technology and people meet. His latest book is: “Crack the ChatGPT code” (2023). He holds lectures on how language models and artificial intelligence can be put to practical use. From 1990, Bjørkeng worked in Trondheimsavisa, Arbeider-Avisa and Adresseavisen, before becoming a permanent employee of Aftenposten in 1994. Here he has worked with general news, research journalism, features, culture and digital media both as a reporter, commentator and reviewer.
5. Jim Tørresen
Why: established Norwegian Professor focused on robotics with more than 6000+ citations. Proponent of ethical AI and engaged in a range of significant research projects in the field as well as the “Statement on research ethics in artificial intelligence” that Jim has contributed to through being a member of the National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology (NENT) and their working group on research ethics for AI.
Jim Tørresen holds Professor position at Department of Informatics, University of Oslo (associate professor 1999–2005). His research interests include machine learning, bio-inspired computing, artificial intelligence, adaptive systems, robotics, reconfigurable hardware and applying this to complex real-world applications. He has a Dr.Ing (Ph.D) degree in computer engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (1996). He was doing research in the fields of artificial neural networks and parallel processing. As a part of his research he has been a research student at Kyoto University, Japan for one year. After finishing his Ph.D he working for NERA Telecommunications. He was involved in designing a digital power line carrier system. Then in April 1998, he was employed by Navia Aviation for designing a satellite-based flight landing system. From January to April 2000, he was a visiting researcher for three months at Evolvable Systems Lab, Electrotechnical laboratory, Tsukuba, Japan. In August 2010 — July 2011, he was a visiting professor at Cornell Creative Machines Lab. He also wrote a popular science book in Norwegian on: “What is — artificial intelligence?”
6. Nicolai Tangen
Why: has been a public voice in the discussion of AI regulation and released views on responsible AI from the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund. Nicolai Tangen has been active in the discussion of AI, calling for state regulation of the field in Financial Times early in 2023. Norges Bank Investment Management later in 2023 published their responsible AI views.
Nicolai Tangen is a Norwegian hedge fund manager who founded AKO Capital. He has since September 2020 been CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, tasked with managing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is the largest publicly held financial fund in the world, owning approximately 1.4% of the world’s listed companies. He is also leading discussions in the podcast In Good Company interviewing a range of leaders around the world. One of his recent interviews was with Sam Altman (founder and CEO in OpenAI behind ChatGPT).
7. Karianne Tung
Why: Karianne Tung is to a large extent responsible for AI on behalf of the Norwegian state as the new Minister for Digitalisation and Public Governance, that will lead to the creation of a new Ministry under the same name on the 1st of January 2024. Responsibility for AI was explicitly stated by Prime Minister Støre in her announcement, so it should be interesting to see how it will be governed in 2024.
Tung was appointed minister of digitalisation in a cabinet reshuffle on 16 October 2023. At the same time it was announced that she would head a new ministry, the Ministry of Digitalisation and Public Governance starting on the 1st of January 2024, with 170 staff transferring from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. It was also announced that she would be responsible for coordinating the government’s work on artificial intelligence. Tung was a senior advisor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology between 2018 and 2020. In 2020, Tung became the manager of Trondheim Tech Port.
8. Christine Hafskjold — Senior ICT Policy Advisor (Fagdirektør)
Why: responsible for how AI is included in the new national Digitalisation Strategy due to be published in 2024. Wrote the national strategy for AI in 2020 on behalf of the previous Minister for Digitalisation. Has been advising the Norwegian government on AI through the last few years.
Christine Hafskjold is a Senior ICT policy adviser at the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. Christine has a background in computer science, and worked ten years as an IT consultant before going into IT policy. Before joining the ministry, she was responsible for ICT policy at the Norwegian Board of Technology, a think tank that advises the Norwegian Parliament and Government on new technology. At the ministry, Christine has led work on ICT research policy, Cloud computing policy and cyber security. Christine worked on the national Norwegian AI strategy delivered in 2020, and has since been active in AI policy within the Norwegian government. In this manner contributing to structure the overall policy for a responsible approach to AI in Norway.
9. Sagar Sen
Why: proponent of green AI within a large research project. Experienced software engineer and research scientist.
Sagar Sen is a Senior Research Scientist at SINTEF Digital. He is interested in investigating software engineering for AI and AI for software engineering with a focus on trustworthiness and sustainability. They received funding for a large Horizon Europe project entitled “ENFIELD: European Lighthouse to Manifest Trustworthy and Green AI” The project involves 30 partners and has a total budget of 11.5 m€. The 30 different organisations, universities, and companies are from various European countries such as Norway, Portugal, France, Germany, Sweden, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Estonia, Slovenia, Spain, Finland, and Cyprus. There is also a strong Norwegian presence in the consortium involving NTNU (coordinator), SINTEF Digital, Norsk Regnsentralen, and Telenor. He holds a PhD in Model-driven Engineering.
10. Marija Slavkovik
Why: focused on machine ethics combining programming tasks with ethical concerns. Also instrumental in setting up the BA for artificial intelligence at the University of Bergen.
Professor Marija Slavkovik Research at the University of Bergen (UiB). Her area of research is Artificial Intelligence (AI) with expertise in collective reasoning. She is is active in the AI sub-disciplines of: multi-agent systems, machine ethics and computational social choice. In machine ethics, Slavkovik is active in engineering machine ethics problems. How can we build autonomous systems and artificial agents that behave ethically?
11. Abbey Lin
Why: one of the most exciting founders in Oslo combining ESG reporting with data science and machine learning in Fortifai. New startup set up in 2023 worth following in 2024. Experienced compliance professional with long experience from Microsoft, Yara, Crayon and KPMG.
Abbey Lin is the founder and CEO of Fortifai.co. Your ESG co-pilot Implementing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) regulations. She was previously the Chief ESG & Integrity Officer at Crayon. Abbey comes from Microsoft and has over 15 years of international experience in the field. Before Microsoft, she was head of compliance and business integrity at KPMG Norway. She has also been involved in launching and implementing the global ethics and compliance program in over 50 countries for Yara International, one of Norway’s largest companies.
12. Tonje Nerby
Why: currently working to explore green AI and purchasing of AI in the Norwegian Board of Technology.
Tonje Nerby leads Teknologirådet — The Norwegian Board of Technology’s projects in green transition. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in industrial ecology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She has previously worked for the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency and Oslo municipality (Oslo kommune). Tonje has experience from working with climate and the environment in public procurement, and as subject manager for circular economy.
13. Elisabeth Austad Asser
Why: just completed her PhD in artificial intelligence and ethics. Now leading work on sustainability in a Norwegian bank that also invested in research on sustainable infrastructure for AI.
Elisabeth Austad Asser is Sustainability Manager at Sparebanken Sør. She recently completed a PhD in artificial intelligence and ethics. Her research revolved around how AI affects human values. As Sustainability Officer at Sparebanken Sør, she benefit from several years of experience in change management in both banking and travel industry, within digital sales, marketing and communication. Recently the bank she works with has made a significant investment in research on sustainable AI infrastructure.
14. Alise Danielle Midtfjord
Why: technically proficient and engaged in the AI community in Norway. Highly focused on explainable AI in real-world contexts, now working in a private lab.
Alise Danielle Midtfjord, PhD is a Senior Data Scientist & Partner at Intellectual Labs AS . She did her Master of Science at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Environmental Physics. In her thesis, she combined machine learning with image analysis of PET/CT-images of cancer tumors, to predict the treatment outcome. After that, Alise worked with technology consulting for Accenture, working with new technologies like machine learning and extended reality. From August 2019 to May 2023, she was a PhD Student at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oslo. There she worked on modelling and analysis of multidimensional high-resolution environmental data within safety-critical systems such as airport runway condition management.
15. Heather Broomfield
Why: engaged in ICT research for a decade with long experience working in the government. A leader for AI in the public sector with a legal background and longstanding international engagement.
Heather Broomfield, is a leading voice for responsible AI in the public sector. She had a significant influence on an increased effort for AI and data in the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency (DigDir, previously Difi) over the past decade. She has an extensive track record. In 1996 she was an Executive Officer in the Irish Parliament. Already 20 years ago she worked connected to ICT research in Norway with Vestlandsforsking, since then she has had various roles in the government. She was a Member of the influential Council of Europes committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI). She is now completing a PhD focused on the project “Government by Algorithm — Protecting Democratic Values in the Deployment of Artificial Intelligence by the Public Sector”.
16. Leonora Onarheim Bergsjø
Leonora Onarheim Bergsjø, PhD is Associate Professor at Østfold University College (HiØ). She is project partner in ENACT — Ethical Risk Assessment of Artificial Intelligence in Practice. She is the chairperson for Norsk råd for digital etikk (NORDE) (Norwegian Council for Digital Ethics). She has also been part of the project Orchestrating Internet of Things and Machine Learning for Early Risk Detection to Ensure Inpatients Safety (StaySafe). She has previously written books on Digital ethics. Big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence (Universitetsforlaget 2019), Digital security (Universitetsforlaget 2020), Children and young people’s digital judgment (2020) and Digitisation and international politics (2021). Leonora has broad experience with interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration.
17. Robindra Prabhu
Why: Robindra is leading efforts on responsible AI across NAV (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration).
Robindra Prabhu is a Data Scientist (PhD) in NAV within IT Data & Insights AI-lab, working to leverage data and machine learning responsibly to improve the delivery of public welfare services. Previously project manager at Teknologirådet — The Norwegian Board of Technology providing analyses and policy advice to the Norwegian Parliament and other public bodies on societal dimensions of digital technologies. Also 8 years of research experience covering large scale data analysis and machine learning from the Large Hadron Collider project at CERN.
18. Anne Kjersti C Befring
Why: central actor within AI in health in Norway.
Anne Kjersti C Befring is Professor of jurisprudence. She has subject responsibility for the subject Health Law and will coordinate the focus on life science at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo (UiO). Her doctoral thesis was published by Gyldendal as a book in 2019: “Personalized medicine. Legal perspectives.” She was co-editor and author of the article collection: Artificial intelligence and big data in the health sector (2020) Befring was previously director of negotiations and legal director of The Norwegian Medical Association.
19. Jens Osberg
Why: experienced legal professional that helped to set up the online guidance for artificial intelligence in the public sector.
Jens Osberg is a lawyer and technologist, and works as a senior adviser at the National Resource Center for the Sharing and Use of Data in the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency (DigDir). He has experience as a software developer and has written a publication on access to automated decisions under the Personal Data Protection Regulation. Jens has worked extensively with privacy, automated decisions, machine learning, cloud services and information security. He has led the coordination work after Schrems II on behalf of SKATE, and has been contributing to the DigDir’s work on responsible development and use of artificial intelligence through the development of their guidance on AI.
20. Vinay Setty
Why: active researcher on misinformation with patents to his name, and helped set up the startup Factiverse.
Dr. Vinay Setty is an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Before that he has been an Assistant Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark and Postdoctoral Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Informatics. Setty got is PhD from University of Oslo, Norway. Dr. Setty’s recent research areas mainly include information retrieval, text and graph mining using machine learning techniques. Text mining includes dealing with unstructured text, specifically news documents for tasks such as fake news detection, news ranking, news recommendation etc. Graph mining involves training network embeddings for machine learning on graphs and knowledge graphs. He is also a member of the OECD.ai Expert Group on AI Risk & Accountability.
21. Maria Amelie
Why: Maria Amelie is the CEO of Factiverse AI Editor, for journalists and media professionals to verify the news accuracy in real-time, enhancing story credibility and trustworthiness.
Maria Amelie, is a writer, blogger and entrepreneur who lived as an illegal immigrant in Norway between 2002 and 2011. She was deported from Norway on 24 January 2011. After writing the controversial book Ulovlig norsk (Illegally Norwegian) she was in 2010 named “Norwegian of the year” by the Norwegian news magazine Ny Tid. She worked as a startup and tech journalist for close to a decade. She has written several other books, amongst them a book about startup migrants, and another gathering advise from Norwegian investors as well as entrepreneurs.
22. Helga Brøgger
Why: range of experience across the health sector and particularly in radiology. Contributed to a range of initiatives for responsible AI over the last few years. Experienced practitioner and communicator.
Helga Brøgger is a medical doctor (MD) with her educational background from University of Oslo, and has worked as a senior advisor in the ICT inspection of the Norwegian Health Authority, as well as as a leader in the Norwegian Radiological Association. She is Nordic Ethical AI Expert Group Member in Nordic Innovation. She recently started a position in DNV as a Principal Researcher where she works with health technology and a particular focus on artificial intelligence. She has also recently contributed to the guidance for AI in the Norwegian health sector.
23. Steven Christensen
Why: consistently organising gatherings for discussion of AI in the public sector and engaged in helping to connect projects and people across Norway.
A hidden asset you may not have heard of, Steven Christensen is an Advisor in the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency that has contributed in establishing the overview of AI in the public sector and running the Norwegian Forum for AI in the Public sector. His background is in Governance Informatics, yet he has also studied democracy and rights in the human society. He now works with Master Data, yet retains a keen interest in the field of AI. Furthermore, he was also part of setting up the leadership network for AI in the public sector (LEKIO).
24. Ellen Strålberg
Why: since the explosion of generative AI Ellen has been working on documenting this technology and researching developments to help advise the Norwegian government.
Ellen Strålberg is responsible for the Norwegian Board of Technology’s project on generative artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence in health and value creation with data. She has a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Oslo, and has previously worked in the Directorate of Digitalisation, the Directorate of Health, the Ministry of Health and the Ministries’ Security and Service Organisation. Ellen has experience from projects in areas such as digital interaction, sharing of data, digital transformation, digital first choice, innovation in the public sector, service design and eHealth.