On Labdays, Protacon’s digital business experts put projects on the shelf for a while to concentrate on developing their own skills. During the Labday in March, 15 people from Protacon gathered to explore the possibilities of artificial intelligence assisted by IBM’s training specialist Konsta Rönkkö. Outcomes achieved are concrete tools for future projects.
The yearly budget allows ten days for each digital business expert for upgrading their skills. In a unit comprising 120 persons, this means 1,200 learning days a year. Labdays are one tool for upgrading skills, typically involving testing and exploration of different technologies on one’s own or in small groups, according to current needs and interests. Sometimes, more organized program is also arranged.
– Artificial intelligence was picked the topic of the Labday workshop in March, because it is and will be a big part of everyone’s life. In normal life, it is not even possible to always notice that artificial intelligence works behind a product or service. When building information systems and digitalizing business, it is important to recognize the possibilities of artificial intelligence, says Chief Production Officer Tommi Särkkä, who was responsible for arranging the workshop.
Getting familiar with the operating mechanisms of artificial intelligence
In the workshop, the participants could test the operation of artificial intelligence via concrete exercises. For example, a chat robot and an image recognition algorithm were created for a fictitious online store and the robot was trained to identify works of art located on the Mattilanniemi campus.
– Our experiments were simple examples of use of artificial intelligence. In fact, the purpose of the day was to increase understanding of the mechanisms and implementation methods behind artificial intelligence to enable their future application, use and autonomous creation, Tommi Särkkä explains.
According to a participant, software developer Antti Nevala, it is important that one can regularly use work time for developing one’s own skills.
– It is great that we can decide on the content of Labdays based on our own needs. I decided to participate in the artificial intelligence workshop, because I had not familiarized myself earlier with different artificial intelligence solutions. The workshop provided us with easy-to-use tools that we can surely use in future projects, Nevala comments.
Labday is a concept well-proven at Protacon and its main idea is to increase specialist know-how in a relaxed way by doing together.
– The IT industry is developing so fast that skills development is a must to avoid falling by the wayside. Labday is an investment on the skills and competence of our specialists, since we cannot require them to use their leisure time on studying new things. Labday is an excellent tradition that also improves the collective spirit and comfort at work, sums up Jaakko Kaski, Chief Operating Officer, People and Culture.
What is Protacon Labday?
- A day for digital business experts to develop their own skills
- Typically, different technologies are tested and explored according to current needs and interests
- Is usually arranged on one’s own initiative on the first Friday of each month
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