In a world that continues to evolve at a high speed, the future of technology rests in the hands of young talents like Felix, Niels, and Sofia, three participants in AI Sweden’s Young Talent Program. Fresh out of high school, they look forward to diving into the world of AI this fall. 

A total of 14 participants have been accepted to AI Sweden’s Young Talent Program for 2023. Three of them, Felix, Niels, and Sofia, are located in Linköping. What they all have in common is their interest in AI, with different experience levels that they want to develop and explore further. AI Sweden wants to provide opportunities for talented individuals based on potential, not only experience. Here, they gain valuable hands-on experience working on AI projects, visiting partner organizations, and connecting with industry professionals, providing them with a glimpse of real-world AI applications.

“You really get to know different work roles that you didn’t know existed and the whole spiderweb of different functions that are needed in an organization. Everything from developers and managers to communications officers, and that’s something we really appreciate with this program,” they all agree on.

At the start, Felix, Niels, and Sofia visited different partners together with the rest of the applicants. During spring 2024 they will have the opportunity to work 50-100% with one of AI Sweden’s partners.

Case: Money laundering

The trio will during their program period work with different courses and projects assigned by AI Sweden. Their workload spans between everything from programming in Python, and Deep Learning to Natural Language Processing.

“At the time we are working on a project with the aim to combat money laundering with machine learning. We have been tasked with optimizing and developing the data visualization tool”. The project is a collaboration involving AI Sweden, Handelsbanken and Swedbank,” Felix says and continues:

In November, they will give an introductory presentation on AI for Rotary in Mjölby with the aim to educate and spread knowledge about AI for companies in the region.

“As a mentor, I’m pleasantly surprised by the depth of AI knowledge these three Young Talents possess. Also, their keen interest in exploring how AI can benefit various organizations, both in the private and public sectors in Östergötland, is truly inspiring,” says Sara Karlsson, Ecosystem and Partner manager at AI Sweden.

Role models important

There’s a general need to get more young women to become interested in AI. Sofia, one of the Young Talents, mentions how important it is to have role models.

“I got interested in AI when we did a study visit with my class in school. We were guided by girls, and that really showed me that I could do this too” she explains, emphasizing the importance of setting aside stereotypes and not letting anything hinder your path.

“It’s also important to be exposed to programming in school and to have the opportunity to try it. Otherwise, you won’t know it exists!” she continues.

The best thing about the Young Talent Program:

“The freedom and responsibility that comes with it. Nobody tells you what to do; you need to do it yourself,” Niels says.

“You learn on your own and take things at your own pace,” Felix says.

“You don’t have to be a programming expert; you’re here to learn. The opportunity to partake in exciting projects is a valuable learning experience, and I appreciate that people believe in our competence and ability to contribute, despite our young age,” Sofia says.

Connect on AI Sweden’s career page to receive notifications for the opening of the next cohort: