Amsterdam and Helsinki launch AI registers

The Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori emphasizes: “With the help of artificial intelligence, we can offer people in the city better services anytime and anywhere.”

Amsterdam and Helsinki were the first cities in the world to launch open registers for Artificial Intelligence (AI): They show the use of AI algorithms.

The registers presented as part of the Next Generation Internet Policy Summit are intended to show transparently where cities use AI, the algorithms, and how they work. This is also intended to underline that these technologies are used responsibly.

Make benefits transparent

“Algorithms are playing an increasingly important role in our lives,” says Touria Meliani, Vice Mayor of Amsterdam.

With the AI registers that have now been launched, Amsterdam and Helsinki want to show openly and transparently where and how the technologies are used. This is intended to prove that AI algorithms are used responsibly.

Both cities are currently experimenting with the use of AI in various areas. For example, there are experiments with chatbots that are ultimately intended to help urban services to be accessible anytime, anywhere. In the open city registers that have now been launched, everyone can read which public-sector AI systems exist in the respective city and how they are used.

In addition, people can leave feedback and participate in research projects to influence the future development of systems. The registers start with a limited number of applications, but more are to be registered this year.

The use of AI in urban services will continue to increase as communities become more familiar with the technology, according to Pasi Rautio, project manager for data, AI, and RPA development in Helsinki. “This widespread use of AI depends on maintaining confidence in what the city is doing,” he says. This is precisely what the open registers are intended to contribute by showing the public that Amsterdam and Helsinki are involved in responsible and safe AI development.