"This project is a fantastic example of visionary national collaboration, paving the way and putting Norway on the map in the field of artificial intelligence," says the Pro-Rector at UiB and leader of the steering group for UiB AI, Pinar Heggernes.
She participated in the official inauguration of NAIC in Oslo on September 25, where she also delivered a speech on collaboration in artificial intelligence in Norway.
"We are gaining international recognition. For example, the collaboration we have achieved through NORA is truly unique. The Norwegian AI Cloud will meet the needs of academia, small and medium-sized businesses, industry, startups, and the public sector. This collaboration is going to be crucial in the future," believes Heggernes.
NAIC constitutes a digital infrastructure that is a collaboration between many stakeholders to provide various tools and expertise for the use of artificial intelligence in research, education, and innovation.
The IT department at UiB will assist researchers with artificial intelligence
The IT division at UiB leads the work package that will establish centralized user support for NAIC. The most important part of this is what is called advanced user support, which bridges the gap between researchers and technology. Users will be supported by experts who understand the needs in the workflow of artificial intelligence, including data organization and the use of methods and tools in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
"The IT division at UiB is tasked with bridging the gap between the user and the technology through advanced user support. We have a tradition of strong user orientation in our IT services, and we bring this tradition into the NAIC collaboration," says IT director Tore Burheim.
The Head of the Department of Informatics and Chairman of NORA, Inge Jonassen, believes NAIC will offer significant opportunities for researchers looking to implement artificial intelligence.
Will boost research
"The use of AI methods on specific datasets can be computationally demanding, and a regular laptop or PC may fall short. Specialized software and support for handling complex datasets that can be challenging to set up for individual researchers or groups may also be necessary. Here, NAIC as an infrastructure can provide valuable support and make solutions available that facilitate easier experimentation and use of AI methods, such as machine learning methods," he says.
He adds that for informatics groups, for example, those working on the development of new machine learning methods, it may become easier to test out new methods through NAIC.
"So, we can envision that the Norwegian AI Cloud will advance research both in the use of AI methods and research in their development – and the connection between the two," he says.
The collaboration consists of UiB, UiO, Simula, NORA, NORCE, UiA, SINTEF, Sigma2, NTNU, and UiT, and is supported by the Research Council of Norway.