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Timo Honkela

Born August 4, 1962, Kalajoki, died May 5, 2020

Master of Arts 1989 (computer science), University of Oulu
PhD 1998 (information technology), Helsinki University of Technology

Professor of Research into Digital Materials, University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland, 2014–
Chief Research Scientist 2006–13, Helsinki University of Technology/Aalto University
Acting Professor 2003–05, Helsinki University of Technology
CEO and Director of Research 2000–02, Gurusoft Oy
Professor 1998–2000, Helsinki School of Arts and Design
Researcher 1994–99, Helsinki University of Technology
Researcher 1990–94, Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
Researcher 1987–89, Sitra
Research Associate and Lecturer 1985–87, University of Oulu

Research themes:
Computational semantics and pragmatics, socio-cognitive modelling, the philosophy of artificial intelligence and its applications in the humanities and social sciences

Publications, research projects and other academic activity

Written by Timo Honkela (Kaija Hartikainen, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

The Importance of the Humanities

In 2014, in his inaugural lecture as professor at the University of Helsinki, Timo Honkela emphasised the significance of humanistic and social scientific research. He observed that we could fly to the moon and manufacture paper, but the great unanswered questions of humankind were related to humanities and social sciences. The understanding that can be achieved in these fields with the help of those who develop new methods to process information can be used to solve pressing societal problems, without forgetting the intrinsic value of a humanistic activity and perspectives.

Photo and editing by Timo Honkela.


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