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University of Oulu’s HAiLife project gets underway

First HAiLife event webinar photo

The ICT sector has a lot of unique strengths, particularly when it comes to areas like health technology, but research data related to the humanities is still a vastly underused resource. As the digitalization of this work accelerates at a rapid pace, both domestically and internationally, the ability to effectively use this information in business has become vital. Specific expertise is also required for data protection and other legal issues that may arise.

With that in mind, the University of Oulu’s HAiLife project is holding a series of workshops – five in total – inviting experts from different fields to share perspectives and experiences on this subject. These events will enable companies to become more aware of the various possibilities of using this valuable resource as part of their current and new business operations. The team responsible for implementing this project is the Learning and Education Technology (LET) research unit at the University of Oulu.

Recently, the HAiLife project held its first seminar (on 29th September 2022) and invited two experts to speak in front of an audience.

Mika Ruokonen, an Industry Professor of digital business, was the first to deliver his keynote, which shared his thoughts about the possibilities of utilizing human data in business. Due to the substantial hypergrowth in volume, people are producing enormous amounts of information while going about their everyday tasks through sensors, GPS and internet connections, which are always on. He said that value creation for companies in the future will occur less in manufacturing traditional hardware, and instead will be increasingly built on connectivity and intelligence.

Connectivity stock photo

Ruokonen also illustrated the opportunities and pitfalls of an economy driven by data, how organization structures affect its success, and how best to avoid common obstacles through investing in commercial and legal know-how. “Every company is a data company, whether they know it yet or not,” was the quote that ended this fascinating presentation.

He was followed by Tapio Seppänen, a Professor of biomedical engineering in the development of analysis, algorithms, and applications related to human measurement. He emphasized that there are several necessary procedures from the very start to undertake to make raw data recorded to the actual customer both reliable and valid. He also stated that considering the extensive development and validation of signal technologies when the business is being developed is crucial.

Examples of information gathered from human behavior and interaction contexts were introduced throughout his keynote so that the affect and emotions could be analyzed. Seppänen showed how audio signals or biosignals such as heart-rate variability or electrodermal activity could trace affective states; several products have been developed to utilize these technologies.

After the presentations, the gathered crowd familiarised themselves with LeaF premises, equipment, and methodical know-how. These spaces are specifically designed to support learning and interaction research. There were plenty of illuminating discussions in progress in the aftermath of the keynotes and these are set to continue at subsequent events!

Save the date of the next HAiLife event – 2nd December 2022! Further details will be published on ICTOulu very soon…