Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly widespread in today’s marketplace. However, there are numerous ethical challenges associated with AI, such as AI biases, ethical product design, consumer privacy, cybersecurity, and individual well-being and autonomy. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair award I received allowed me to visit Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland in the Fall of 2019 to conduct research to examine how companies could shape the future of ethical and trustworthy AI by engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to address these issues.
In addition to working on this research project in collaboration with my host at the Hanken School, I was fully engaged in Hanken’s academic life, giving guest lectures to undergraduate students, and presenting several research seminars to not only the internal stakeholders such as PhD students and faculty, but also to external stakeholders such as Hanken alumni and the general public. I also engaged in a series of activities organized by Fulbright Finland Foundation, including participating in a panel on “AI for better business and society” (organized by the Fulbright Finland, the US Embassy at Finland, and the University of Helsinki) and giving a presentation on U.S. culture at the Fulbright Finland’s American Voices conference at the University of Turku.
I brought my two school age kids with me for the entire duration of my Fulbright visit, so they got to attend the Finland public school, which is well-known for its high quality and innovation. Finland school system balances academic rigor and the notion of “whole child.” For example, my son, who attended the Ressun compreshensive school in Helsinki, observed that there was actually more homework and more exams in Finland. But as part of his homework, he sometimes had to do household chores such as loading and unloading a dishwasher, and cooking a dish for the family. Some of my favorite things he cooked are beef Bolognese, vegetable soup, and cinnamon buns.
We also got to enjoy Helsinki and other parts of Finland. Our favorite place was the Helsinki Central Library Oodi, which was inaugurated in December 2018 and voted winner of the 2019 Public Library of the Year award by the International Federation of Library Associations. Oodi is a library like no other. It seeks to embody the concept of the 21st century library, with robots sorting and distributing books, an abundance of digital technology resources ranging from 3D printing to virtual reality, and plenty of communal meeting places with cafes and restaurants. We visited the library almost weekly.
In December 2019, our family went to the Lapland, the northern part of Finland, to enjoy the winter wonderland scenery of this area north of the Arctic Circle. We went skiing, snowshoeing, and on sleigh rides pulled by Huskies. It was such a memorable experience.
Overall, my time as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland was very fulfilling, both professionally and personally.