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Big boost for AI research at UiB

Trond Mohn Foundation and the University of Bergen are launching three research projects worth a total of 40 million Norwegian kroner for research for more trustworthy systems for artificial intelligence (AI).

Plakat med logoer for UiB AI og TMS
Trond Mohn Foundatio nand the University of Bergen are joining forces with the programme Trustworthy AI. Three research projects receive funding.


Over the last decade, we have seen significant technological breakthroughs in AI and it has become a natural part of research, education, and work. However, for AI to gain broad acceptance in society, it is crucial that AI systems are reliable. Current AI systems lack scientific definitions and clear criteria for human values such as justice, responsibility, safety, privacy, and other important ethical aspects. There are also serious weaknesses in the legal frameworks within which AI systems operate, and issues with accuracy and robustness in the systems.

To meet these challenges and strengthen high-quality AI research at UiB, Trond Mohn Foundation (TMS) and the University of Bergen (UiB) have developed the research program Trustworthy AI

TMS recently announced a competition where UiB’s academic communities could apply for support for ambitious research projects with the goal of significantly increasing the trustworthyness of AI systems. The projects were to include expertise from multiple research groups and disciplines, and aim to develop processes, methods, algorithms, and/or tools to help solve the challenges.

Three new research projects have been selected for funding. They are:

AI and Education: Layers of Trust (EduTrust AI)

The main goals of the project are to identify layers of trust associated with the use of AI in the educational sector that considers the complex accountability relationships, to develop new knowledge, methods, guidelines, and tools for more reliable AI systems, to translate insights about legal, psychological and socio-cultural determinants of trust into legal requirements, and to provide input for practicable frameworks related to the challenging questions surrounding the use of student data and AI systems in education.
The project is a collaboration between the Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE), the Faculty of Psychology, and the Faculty of Law. Professor Barbara Wasson from SLATE will lead the project.

TRUSTworthy AI models to predict progression to complications in patients with Diabetes (TRUST-AI4D)

This project aims to develop and implement a better, fairer, and safer machine learning algorithm for predicting complications in patients with diabetes. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Clinical Science at the Faculty of Medicine, and the Department of Mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Professor Valeriya Lyssenko, Mohn Research Center for Diabetes Precision Medicine at the Department of Clinical Science, will lead the project.

Algorithmic Foundations of Trustworthy AI

The project aims to build a new theoretical framework for understanding, developing, and designing socially responsible algorithms that incorporate human values into AI systems. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Informatics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and the Department of Information and Media Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences. Professor Fedor V. Fomin, Department of Informatics, will lead the project.

Strengthening UiB's position

The projects will receive six million Norwegian kroner each over five years from Trond Mohn Foundation (TMS). The academic communities at the University of Bergen (UiB) will contribute at least the same amount to each project. In total, the budget is over 40 million Norwegian kroner from 2023 to 2028.

“Trustworthy AI is more important than ever in all parts of society, and this is receiving a lot of international attention at the moment”, says Deputy Rector and head of the UiB AI steering group, Pinar Heggernes.

“We are very grateful for the support for these three projects, and this helps to strengthen our position in the field both in Norway and in Europe. The University of Bergen has strong AI research communities in all faculties, and we are pleased to continue the solid work being done on artificial intelligence at UiB", Heggernes says.

Based on the results of an initial application round, UiB nominated eight projects for the foundation's application deadline of January 10, 2023. An external panel of experts, composed of international experts, evaluated and ranked the applications. The panel described the eight applications as highly competitive project proposals within a broad spectrum of very relevant topics, each with a different disciplinary emphasis and approach to the themes mentioned in the call for proposals: accuracy and robustness, openness, fairness, responsibility, and ethics.

Very current issues

“We are delighted that such strong and diverse communities have responded well to the challenge of coming together to solve very current issues. We are confident that the AI ​​investment will strengthen UiB and Bergen in a field of high societal importance. On behalf of the foundation, I would like to thank UiB for the good cooperation in the development phase and wish you the best of luck with the projects”, says Anne Marie Haga, acting CEO of TMS.

UiB established the UiB AI initiative in 2022 to coordinate and showcase all research, education, and innovation activities in artificial intelligence at the University of Bergen and facilitate collaboration and contact between faculties and partners outside UiB.

UiB AI and the three new projects will develop a joint collaboration project to promote joint activities, joint communication initiatives, and collaboration. This work is supported with two million Norwegian kroner from TMS.