Helsinki and Amsterdam first cities in the world to launch open AI register

As the first cities in the world, Helsinki and Amsterdam both launch an open AI register today at the Next Generation Internet Summit. Helsinki and Amsterdam are aiming to be open and transparent about the use of algorithms and AI in the cities. The register is another effort to show where the cities are currently making use of AI and how the algorithms work.

City of Helsinki and City of Amsterdam:“Helsinki aims to be the city in the world that best capitalises on digitalisation. Digitalisation is strongly associated with the utilisation of artificial intelligence. With the help of artificial intelligence, we can give people in the city better services available anywhere and at any time. In the front rank with the City of Amsterdam, we are proud to tell everyone openly what we use AI for”, says Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki.

“Algorithms play an increasingly important role in our lives. Together with the city of Helsinki, we are on a mission to create as much understanding about algorithms as possible and be transparent about the way we -as cities- use them. Today we take another important step with the launch of these algorithm registers”, adds Touria Meliani, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam (Digital City).

Registers are windows to the AI systems that Helsinki and Amsterdam use

The Cities of Helsinki and Amsterdam want to improve both the availability of services and the experiences of customers, and artificial intelligence can help in this. For example, the city's chatbot experiments are a step towards enabling services to be reached anywhere and at any time. At the moment, a large number of AI experiments are underway in different sectors of cities. The services now ready and in use have been compiled in one place in the brand new Artificial Intelligence Register in both cities. It's a window to the AI systems that Helsinki and Amsterdam use. 

In the AI register, you can find descriptions of the city's AI systems and you can study how AI is used in them. Through the AI register, you can also provide feedback, participate in research and thus influence how Helsinki and Amsterdam will build reciprocal, human-centred AI in the future. The plan is to bring more applications into the AI register during the autumn.

 “The use of artificial intelligence is becoming more common in the world, and its use will also increase in the city's services in the future, as artificial intelligence becomes more familiar and the city learns more about its applications. The wide-ranging utilisation of artificial intelligence is conditional on maintaining trust in the city's activities. Therefore, the city strives to strengthen this trust with the greatest possible openness. This is why the Artificial Intelligence Register has also been created,” says Pasi Rautio, Project Manager of the Helsinki City Data, AI and robotisation project entity.

Helsinki and Amsterdam are committed to open and dignified digital development

The cities of Helsinki and Amsterdam are committed to open and dignified digital development. So it is natural that concrete information on urban AI applications is also available. Openness also aims to enable, in future too, stronger shared participation in the development of artificial intelligence.

Internationally, the AI registers of the cities of Helsinki and Amsterdam are the first of their kind, but in future the AI registers are expected to become more common elsewhere. They are a way of communicating openly about the city's AI applications. The implementation of both registers is carried out by Saidot, a Finnish specialist in technologies and services pertaining to the openness and explicability of artificial intelligence.

The city makes responsible use of artificial intelligence

Human-centred AI is built on open and ethically sustainable utilisation of technology and AI. The objective of Helsinki and Amsterdam is that artificial intelligence in public services must operate on the same principles of responsibility, transparency and security as other activities of the city.

Cities have lots of information about their residents in different services. In Helsinki and Amsterdam, the starting point is that everyone in the city must also have access to comprehensible and up-to-date information on how algorithms affect their lives. And that is precisely why the AI Register has been set up.

AI already affects the everyday lives of city people

Artificial intelligence refers to systems that observe the environment and process information in order to achieve, without guidance, the objectives assigned to them. In the case of city services, artificial intelligence may, for example, recommend books suitable for the library's customers or issue instructions for those consulting, for instance, childbirth & maternity counselling. Artificial intelligence also seeks, for example, easy and rapid access to information, identification of objects or people, appropriate recommendations or more efficient traffic control. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that artificial intelligence does not function in a vacuum or on its own. A person ultimately responsible for the operation of artificial intelligence is always needed to teach and supervise the machine.

You can read about this in the Helsinki Artificial Intelligence Register: http://ai.hel.fi/ and in the Amsterdam Algorithm Register: https://algoritmeregister.amsterdam.nl/ 

Contact:

Helsinki: Pasi Rautio, Project Manager of AI and robotisation project entity, tel. +358 40 833 2528.

Amsterdam: Marit van Kooij, spokesperson for deputy mayor Touria Meliani, tel. 0031 6 57993418.

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