Mamma mia, Red Hat now in tune with AI Sweden

At the risk of starting with an Alan Patridge quote.

“The Swedish don’t have a bad life when you think about it,” said Partridge. “They get up in the morning, have a bowl of suede, hop into the Volvo, whack on a bit of ABBA and zip over to Ikea. That’s my Sunday… apart from the suede.”

If Alan had been more up to date (perish the thought), he might have added the requirement to plug in a bit of public sector Swedish AI innovation.

Why so? Because Red Hat OpenShift AI is now available in AI Sweden’s AI Labs, an environment where organisations can explore new working methods and develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) models, applications and use cases.

As Sweden’s national centre for applied AI, AI Sweden enjoys funding from the Swedish government (as well as from public & private partners) and has offices across the country and in the Canadian city of Montreal. 

AI uncertainty

AI Sweden openly states that it sees ‘many organisational barriers to AI adoption’ that stem from uncertainty among business and technology leaders on how to start the AI journey, as well as concerns over implementation practicalities and regulatory ramifications such as GDPR. 

In an attempt to answer and respond to these qualms, AI Sweden says its AI Labs division provides strategic hands-on knowledge and materials in collaboration with technology companies. The labs operation is designed to allow partners to experiment with AI infrastructure and accelerate learning and competence. 

Outer space, man

The labs consist of dedicated facilities with resources related to data and algorithms, edge computing implementations, Natural Language Understanding (NLU), AI security and outer space. Yes, that was ‘outer space’, that’s how the Swedish like to refer to space.

AI Sweden says it is continuing to develop its AI infrastructure offering, evaluating AI platforms and tooling and chose to implement Red Hat OpenShift AI in its labs to give organisations access to explore a flexible, scalable MLOps platform. It wants to encourage software engineers using its labs to skill up on building, deploying and managing AI-enabled applications across a variety of platforms with access to the latest in accelerators and AI technologies.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to help organisations across industries and public sectors pull together to solve key societal and business challenges with the use of AI,” said Agneta Jacobson, director of strategic partnerships at AI Sweden. “We’re excited to get a powerful tool like Red Hat OpenShift AI in the hands of our partners for them to bring their ideas to life in our AI Labs, with a focus on generating value, being bold and innovative and scaling collaboration.”

A vendor-agnostic sandbox 

The labs at AI Sweden are described as a ‘vendor-agnostic sandbox’ where teams and peers can explore possibilities together. 

With its open ecosystem of hardware and software partners, the organisation suggests that Red Hat OpenShift AI brings teams together on a single application platform that enables data scientists, engineers and software application developers to collaborate with greater consistency. Red Hat OpenShift AI provides capabilities for teams to experiment, host models for integration into applications and deliver applications across the AI/ML lifecycle.

AI Labs users can take advantage of the data acquisition and preparation, model training and fine-tuning and hardware acceleration available with Red Hat OpenShift AI.

“Just as Red Hat thrives on an open development model connecting us with global communities driving faster innovation, AI Sweden is built on the premise that the collective might of an ecosystem is greater than the sum of its parts,” stated Steven Huels, vice president and general manager, AI business unit, Red Hat. “Having an ecosystem that fosters continuous learning and skills development is vital for organisations looking to support responsible, impactful and sustainable use of AI.”

An initial user of Red Hat OpenShift AI in the Lab is an AI-powered public sector organisation that is also an existing Red Hat customer. This unnamed organisation worked with its partner Atea, a supplier of IT infrastructure in the Nordics, to run AI platform tests and verify that its development flow works well with Red Hat OpenShift AI. With hands-on guidance from Atea, AI Sweden and Red Hat, two weeks of testing showed positive outcomes as the organization evaluates a suitable and sustainable future environment for its AI applications.

The road to AI maturity

With this collaboration, AI Sweden and Red Hat insist that they are supporting the cross-sector transfer of knowledge, providing the tools organisations need to get started on their AI journey and speeding up the learning and development process for AI use cases. Ultimately, organisations working in AI Sweden’s labs can progress to work with its AI Maturity assessment framework to ratify and validate their work in this space. 

Image: AI Sweden

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