Norway’s new powerhouse for artificial intelligence (AI) opens in Trondheim today. The new center, Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab, will strengthen national competitiveness and add valuable, future-proof competencies to the Norwegian society.

The new center is financed by Telenor with NOK 50 million and the company’s researchers will participate in joint projects at the lab. NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) contributes with academic resources, infrastructure and technical assistance while the research organization SINTEF will contribute to bringing the knowledge into practical use.

“Artificial intelligence is perhaps the single most important technology of our century. In the future, AI will drive your car, revolutionize cancer treatment and make public services more efficient. With this opening we want to accelerate the education, research and competency building which will be crucial for Norway’s ability to compete in the digital future,” says Sigve Brekke, President & CEO of Telenor Group. 

Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab will be an inclusive and sharing center where members of academia, businesses, startup communities, organizations, and authorities can contribute to and benefit from the development of new knowledge.  The lab will be based on established principles for research ethics, to which contributors must adhere.

“Artificial intelligence is an area where Norway can take a position internationally while simultaneously developing services to the benefit of Norwegian society. The most important aspect of the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab is that we’re now creating the foundation of knowledge for something we don’t yet know what is. I believe that we will help create a society where technology makes our personal and professional lives simpler, smarter and better,” says Gunnar Bovim, Rector at NTNU.    

The objective is that companies and organizations will contribute to both real-life problems to be addressed as well as datasets for the scientists to work on together with the involved parties. Telenor will make available large and anonymized datasets from its mobile- and IoT networks.

“Artificial intelligence represents a fundamental technological shift that opens up for new opportunities, increased competitiveness for Norwegian industry, and greater efficiency in the public sector. SINTEF is betting heavily on AI and believe it is vital that leading expertise in this area is developed in Norway. In close collaboration with NTNU and Telenor, SINTEF will contribute to the development of technology based on AI that will increase value creation in Norway,” says Alexandra Bech Gjørv, CEO of SINTEF.

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