Ultrahack 2019
Artificial intelligence into a tool to prevent social exclusion of young men

Ministry of Finance 27.5.2019 13.58 | Published in English on 28.5.2019 at 13.56
News item

The Ultrahack innovation competition culminated in a final arranged last weekend, in which a large group of Finnish and international talents developed solutions for socially significant problems. The Ministry of Finance and the State Business Development Company Vake took part in the competition with their joint Hackers against exclusion challenge. The challenge sought for innovations based on artificial intelligence, which could be utilised to prevent social exclusion of young men.

The Ultrahack Sprint I final event arranged in the premises of Aalto University in Espoo on 24 to 26 May gathered together top coders and international talents to solve challenges set by the cooperation partners. The high level of the final and the potential benefits of the contest entries were ensured at the virtual preliminary competition stage conducted during spring, from which the best teams were chosen for the main event, the hackathon. Finnish Ultrahack in charge of the arrangements is internationally known for innovation competitions that climax in hackathons.

Most innovative AI solutions rewarded

The Hackers against exclusion challenge of the Ministry of Finance and the State Business Development Company Vake was carried out in collaboration with the Population Register Centre, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Prime Minister’s Office. The challenge aimed to find innovative solutions that, by utilising artificial intelligence, will intensify the effectiveness of existing services and bring them closer to socially excluded young men or those at risk of becoming socially excluded. Thirty specialised teams accepted the challenge and twelve of them presented their solutions in the final.

The winner chosen for the Hackers against exclusion challenge was Gofore's Positive Impact AI, which developed a chatbot relying on data analysis that reviews the customer's situation and suggests the most suitable services to prevent social exclusion. Among the three best were also Rapida's Annie, which helps young people in starting upper secondary education and brings together those needing and providing support, and the expert team Gamers Against Exclusion, where the solution was a tool for reviewing skills meant especially for gamers.

According to the Ministry of Finance's Senior Specialist Aleksi Kopponen, each team was able to form a concept that has potentially significant added value to young people at risk of social exclusion. The finalists share the prize of EUR 10,000 financed by the State Business Development Company Vake and will also have the opportunity to discuss how to utilise their solutions with the Ministry of Finance and to develop them jointly with Vake. The teams will also be invited to the development work of the AuroraAI concept.

Inquiries:

Aleksi Kopponen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 2955 6457, aleksi.kopponen(at)vm.fi

Niko Ruostetsaari, Coordinator, tel. +358 295 530 309, niko.ruostetsaari(at)vm.fi