Experts in Artificial Intelligence at Deusto support collaboration between technology centres, companies and universities to promote AI in the Basque Country

Artificial Intelligence_breakfast 27 May SS

27 May 2022

San Sebastian Campus

According to recent reports, the Spanish artificial intelligence market will grow by 27% per year in the 2020-2025 period , which is equivalent to reaching a market figure of 1.4 billion euros in 2025. AI has a direct impact on companies and industrial sectors, providing predictive solutions based on data analysis that make it possible to predict when a machine might break down (predictive maintenance), analyse customer behaviour (business intelligence) or optimise companies' energy consumption (smart grids), among many others.

In this context, and with the aim of explaining the keys to artificial intelligence, its outreach, its relationship with business competitiveness, its current challenges and the impact of this technology on the Basque business ecosystem, the University of Deusto has organised a new Deusto Engineering Breakfast Meeting. It was held on 27 May at the Hotel María Cristina in San Sebastian under the title 'Artificial Intelligence: a new key tool for the transformation of companies and organisations'.

The conference, opened by the Vice-rector of the San Sebastian campus Xabier Riezu, was closed by Ion Gurrutxaga, director of Innovation of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, who pointed out that "digital transformation -such as AI- is going to be key to competitiveness and industrial progress". Prior to this, a roundtable discussion was held, moderated by Pablo García Bringas, Vice-Dean of External Relations of the Faculty of Engineering, with the participation of Iñaki San Sebastián, Director of Strategic Projects at CAF; María Teresa Linaza, Director of Institutional Development and Promotion at Vicomtech; Aznar Sethna, Marketing and Sales Manager at Salto Systems, and Laura Marrón, Director of the BAIC, Basque Artificial Intelligence Center.

The Basque Country, a benchmark in artificial intelligence

They all spoke about the current initiatives in the Basque Country to promote Artificial Intelligence and concluded that "the Basque Country has to make a strong commitment to the Artificial Intelligence ecosystem, a network of technology centres, companies and universities that are committed to talent and technological transformation. And the goal, as Laura Marrón pointed out: "is to position the Basque Country as a top AI hub and it is It is up to each individual company to contribute to change”.

As María Teresa Linaza explained, "AI is multimodal. It is not only the data, it can be an image, a plan... What we need to be clear about is where we want to go and the problem we want to address to provide an intelligent solution. In her opinion, the Basque Country has an ecosystem of technology centres that can help companies introduce AI into their projects and environments. The head of Vicomtech added that they are working with cutting-edge technologies: "We make software and it is highly decentralised, so I think collaborating with the university is essential for our research.
"We are living through a major technological revolution, so we have to adapt to what the environment demands of us. We have to transform ourselves. This was Iñaki San Sebastián's opinion, for whom "opportunities have to be detected, developed and taken forward". According to Aznar Sethna, from Salto Systems, with Artificial Intelligence you get ahead of the news by analysing previous data and the question is... What can AI bring to the experience?

Another issue that came up in the debate is: What is the line between ethical use of AI and intentional use? According to experts, the key is to create synergies to define what ethical Artificial Intelligence between companies means. And they stressed the importance of generating a multidisciplinary ecosystem focused on clear objectives, which requires identifying the opportunities that each company has with regard to AI.