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The Eye for AI talent program is expanding

fredag, februari 4, 2022

The Eye for AI talent program is expanding. AI Sweden is inviting partners who need international top talents to become host organizations for the second cohort of the program.

Sandra Carrasco Limeros and Sylwia Majchrowska, during a meeting with director of the Hospital and dermatologist Ann-Marie Wennberg. Photo by Ines Sebalj in Sahlgrenska University Hospital magazine.

"The participants in the program do a lot of valuable work for us at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and at the same time, they bring us closer to AI Sweden’s other resources. Doing this together with other AI Sweden partners strengthens us as our differences build a program that is even more attractive to talent worldwide" says Magnus Kjellberg at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, currently hosting talents from the first cohort. 

Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SU, decided to join AstraZeneca and Zenseact as hosts for the first cohort of the international talent program for a couple of reasons. Attracting talent, getting support with specific projects – and helping build the AI ecosystem in Sweden and Gothenburg. 

A third of the way into the 18-month long program, Magnus Kjellberg, head of SU’s AI Competence Center, is pleased with the outcome and can recommend other partners to join as hosts for the upcoming cohorts.

"If you want to participate as a host organization, make sure you are well prepared. Plan what projects the participants should get involved in. That makes them feel welcome, and also builds the best possible environment to add value to the organization" says Magnus Kjellberg.

That there is a global shortage of skills in artificial intelligence is no secret. Countries and organizations worldwide are competing to attract the best AI talent. By joining forces - AI Sweden, Zenseact, AstraZeneca, and SU - the hunt for talent went international. Ivana von Proschwitz, program manager at AI Sweden, explains the premise for the initiative:

"Eye for AI is a graduate program for future leaders in AI. We want to attract international AI talents to Sweden and put Sweden on the global AI map. The rotation scheme, where the participants will spend 6 months with each partner organization, is important because it allows them to get working experience from different industries and employers and hopefully find a future career within AI in Sweden" says Program Manager Ivana von Proschwitz.

One goal for Magnus Kjellberg and his colleague Cecilia Hahn Berg, Life science strategist at SU, was to take that opportunity to showcase all the different kinds of AI applications within healthcare. 

"Since SU is a university hospital that does a lot of clinical research, finding direct clinical use for AI is, of course, an important part of what we work with at AI Competence Center and also probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about AI within healthcare" says Magnus Kjellberg. 

But good healthcare is not only about clinical practice. Additionally, there are a lot of supporting functions where AI can be applied for the benefit of the caretakers.

"At Sahlgrenska University Hospital, many administrative processes are also a perfect fit for AI. We are looking into how AI can be used to solve hard optimization problems such as in operating room management" says Cecilia Hahn Berg. 

We might not be able to compete with the most hyped employers when it comes to salaries and benefits. But if we can make it clear that there are very interesting and hard problems to work on at our hospital, for the benefit of both society and individuals, our hope is that we can attract really good talents" says Magnus Kjellberg. 

So far, the talent program has proven them right. During their first rotation, Sylwia Majchrowska and Sandra Carrasco have worked with SU on a few different tasks: Developing methods for dermatology, using both federated learning and synthetic data, is one. Exploring explainable AI, which is important to get doctors to trust the suggestions from an AI-based expert system, another. The third is multimodal analysis, where images and tabular data are merged and analyzed together. 

"Thanks to them spending one day at AI Sweden every week, Sylwia and Sandra have also moved us a step closer to AI Sweden. We have got a natural connection to AI Sweden and all of the resources there. By participating in this program, we have been able to use the computing power in the Data Factory and recruit students who will do their master thesis together with SU" says Magnus Kjellberg.

Cecilia Hahn Berg adds a third benefit from the participation: "One important task for AI Competence Center is to support strategic decisions on what competences and resources we need in-house, and what shall be brought in externally. Through the program, we get a better overview of the Swedish AI landscape and by that, important knowledge into that process" 


All in all, it sounds like you would recommend other AI Sweden partners to participate in Eye for AI as hosting organizations?
"Absolutely! But you have to enter the program with the right mindset. Our hope is of course to find new talents to bring on as future employees. But we also see this as an important way to grow the AI ecosystem in Sweden in general and the western parts in particular. If we, together with AstraZeneca and Zenseact, can show the participants what we can offer, they will spread the word throughout their network. As long as the effect is that we can attract more AI competence to the region, it will benefit us all in the end" says Cecilia Hahn Berg.


Do you want to get involved?

We are looking for more partner organizations to host the next group of AI talent - do you want to be one of them? Then the Eye for AI program might be something for you!

Eye for AI is a unique 18-months program where AI talents from around the world are matched with 3 organizations and spend 6 months at each placement. At the end of the program the talents can be hired by the participating organizations.

Does this sound interesting? Then send an email to aigraduateprogram@ai.se to learn more or read more here

What is the program like?

Together with Marzieh Farahani and Filmon Yacob, the other two participants in the first Eye for AI cohort, Sylwia Majchrowska and Sandra Carrasco contribute to AI Swedens’ talent blog.