AI in the Nordic-Baltic region

14.05.18 | Declaration
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help solve major societal challenges and provide significant benefits in a variety of areas.

Artificial intelligence[1] (AI) can help solve major societal challenges and provide significant benefits in a variety of areas. The potential lies in implementing today's technology and know-how to increase efficiency and value creation, and in continued development where AI tools become more user-friendly and available for broad use, and in the long term, more advanced in more areas of application.

AI offers significant potential for the Nordic and Baltic countries in business and public sector activities.  Widespread use of AI in the economy can double the economic growth potential in the long term.[2]

Challenges should not be underestimated. Even with the high digital maturity of the Nordic and Baltic countries, efforts to better utilise the possibilities of AI will require awareness and consideration of ethical and other risks. Countries that are successful in utilising and realising the benefits of AI, while managing risks responsibly, will have advantages in international competition and in developing more efficient and relevant public sector activities.

As ministers responsible for digital development from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania Norway, Sweden, and the Åland Islands, we adopted in April 2017 the declaration “The Nordic-Baltic Region: a digital frontrunner”, welcome the European Union Commission Communication on “Artificial Intelligence for Europe”, and support the declaration of 24 EU Member States and Norway on “Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence”, and support the following policy objectives for making the Nordic-Baltic region digitally leading:

Develop and promote the use of artificial intelligence to serve humans better.

We will collaborate on:

  • Improving opportunities for skills development with the goal of enabling more authorities, companies and organizations to use AI.
  • Enhancing access to data for AI to be used for better service to citizens and businesses in our region.
  • Developing ethical and transparent guidelines, standards, principles and values to guide when and how AI applications should be used.
  • The objective that infrastructure, hardware, software and data, all of which are central to the use of AI, are based on standards, enabling interoperability, privacy, security, trust, good usability, and portability.
  • Ensuring that AI gets a prominent place in the European discussion and implementation of initiatives within the framework of the Digital Single Market.
  • Avoiding unnecessary regulation in the area, which is under rapid development.
  • Utilising the structure of Nordic Council of Ministers to facilitate the collaboration in relevant policy areas.

Stockholm, 14 May 2018.

This Declaration shall come into effect on the date of signature.


[1] Artificial intelligence, AI, refers to the intelligence attributed to a computer system, and to a research area focused on the construction of computer systems that display intelligent behavior. Artificial intelligence is basically a collection of digital technologies and tools that enable machines to perceive, learn and make decisions similar to human abilities.

[2] Accenture and Frontier Economics, Purdy, M. and Daugherty, P., Why Artificial Intelligence is the Future of Growth, Accenture, 2016, s.16