Researchers Join with International Computer Science Institute
(ICSI) and UC Berkeley to Study Technology and the Information
Catherine Zandonella, Media Relations
- Researchers from one of the world's most technologically-advanced
countries, Finland, and researchers at the International Computer
Science Institute (ICSI) and the University of California,
Berkeley, will launch a collaboration to spark new discoveries
in computer science, e-commerce, intellectual property rights
and the sociology of the information society.
agreement, to be announced Thursday, Feb. 1 at noon, will
open the doors for Finnish researchers to spend a year or
more in the Berkeley research community engaging in studies
to propel innovation in the interest of society.
the beginning of something that will benefit the research
community and society as a whole," said Nelson Morgan, ICSI
director and a UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering
and computer sciences.
is being sponsored by the National Technology Agency of Finland
(TEKES), the principal funding agency for applied research
and development in Finland. TEKES and industry giants like
Nokia Corp. and Sonera Group, a Finnish telecommunications
provider, have led the way in bringing technology to Finnish
this tradition of innovation, TEKES sought a partnership with
the UC Berkeley-affiliated ICSI, an independent, non-profit
basic research organization dedicated to fundamental questions
in computer science and engineering. For Finnish researchers,
part of their attraction to UC Berkeley was the work of sociology
professor Manuel Castells, a renowned expert on the impact
of information technology on society. Castells is a UC Berkeley
professor of sociology and city and regional planning.
kind of got started because of Castells' interest in the Finnish
knowledge society," said Henri Grundsten, head of the TEKES
office in San Jose.
and UC Berkeley researchers, the collaboration provides numerous
opportunities to learn how Finnish technologists and entrepreneurs
function. "There are lessons to be learned from the way the
Scandinavian countries do it," said J. Richard Beer, executive
director of the Fisher Center for the Strategic Use of Information
Technology at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. He hopes
to retain a Finnish researcher in his work on entrepreneurial
aspects of technology. "In some ways," said Beer, "they are
further along than the U.S."
the goals of the collaboration is to learn more about how
technology affects human beings and their interactions. "We
(American society and Finnish society) are working on similar
problems in terms of the impact of technology on social and
economic life," said Hal Varian, dean of the UC Berkeley School
of Information Management & Systems. "These questions involve
economic, business, legal and technological considerations,
and UC Berkeley is a leader in all four areas."
projects launching the collaboration include:
of a portable digital tape recorder that uses robust speech
recognition to create indexed and annotated text for archiving
meetings (Nelson Morgan).
* The design
of regulations and technologies to protect intellectual property
rights for digital movies, books and other electronic information
* A project
to discover how the human brain acquires language and how
these results can be applied to designing more intelligent
computer systems (Jerome Feldman, ICSI researcher and UC Berkeley
professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences).
* The study
of economic and social transformations associated with the
information technology revolution (Manuel Castells).