Digital Futures Seminar 9.3

The University of Turku Digital Futures profile held its first interdisciplinary seminar on the 9th of March. Combining arresting speakers such as Mikko Hyppönen from F-Secure, Matti Hämäläinen from DIMECC and Juha Ylä-Jääski from TAF with a practical example of doing impactful interdisciplinary research in the Digital Future our seminar pointed the way for increasingly relevant, ambitious and ground-breaking research at the University of Turku.

Juha Ylä-Jääski from the Technology Academy Finland (TAF) spoke of the Millenium Technology Prize – a headline effort in both recognising and promoting the importance of innovation in technology for improving the quality of life of countless people. TAF creates a framework for cooperation between academia, industry and state actors to further technological development and the promotion of technology as an engrossing career option for youth and students at the beginning of their careers.

Mikko Hyppönen was our guide into the wonders, and constant change, of the Dark Side of the Internet. Despite the slightly downbeat title – Mikko’s fundamental message is optimism: no matter the risks that the internet entails, it has invariably brought about an improvement in quality of life for all of us. This is despite the sometimes-amusing antics of cyber criminals, and other actors, who use a combination of common sense, an understanding of people and the technology people rely on to conduct their lives. It is up to us to understand these dynamics, and prepare to meet them in a future where data is the new oil.

Matti Hämäläinen continued with an engrossing presentation of the state of Finland as a launch pad for technology innovation in transport, health and education. Finland, and importantly Turku, is by many measures exceptionally fertile ground for innovation, investment and testing across the entirety of society. In order to leverage our strengths Finland needs international partners such as China and Singapore to together create effective solutions to, for example, the demographic challenges that we all face.

The DF team of Antti Karlsson, Samu Kurki, Hanna Luhtala, Risto Kalliola, Tuomas Mylly and Anne Kovalainen wrapped up the seminar with a look into what can be done by working across disciplines to create social impact. While only at a very early stage, combining biobank data on breast cancer with location based data opens a number of novel and valuable avenues for further study that can have important real world impacts on, as an example, care quality.

For more on Digital Futures don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and on twitter @UTU_DF. If you have something interesting to share; don’t hesitate – we look forward to working with you!

Special thanks go to the young DF researchers who brought our first event to life in the background! Antti Karlsson (Auria), our twitter master, burned up half his phone’s battery keeping the outside world posted with our goings on. Samuli Melart (Law) made sure slides changed on time, microphones worked as they should and videos ran without a hitch. Matti Karinen (Entrepreneurship) took care of our speakers, display port adapters and worried about late-running trains on our behalf. Lastly a shout-out goes to the wizards of UTU’s IT services for setting up the technological foundations of the event and for videoing the show (more on the last later!).

For the event programme click here: 2017-02-21 digital-futures-seminar-invite