Skip to main content

Meet our AI Director: Jacob Nyman

We go out of our way to identify new and better ways for our customers to achieve their goals. Jacob goes out of his way to empower our employees with the latest AI technology.

Jacob Nyman

During the past few years, we’ve gone all-in on our AI investments. We’ve dedicated AI teams to serve both our companies and customers, introduced many new AI talents, and established Visma Resolve as a pure AI company within the Visma family. If you’re looking for the next step in your career within AI, this is an exciting place to be! 

Jacob Nyman started his Visma journey as a Management Trainee back in 2018. Today, he’s our AI Director, working to accelerate strategic AI changes while also managing three pioneering AI product teams. 

What has his AI journey looked like?

Hi, Jacob! Let’s start from the beginning. What got you into the world of AI?

While studying at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, I was able to automatically create efficient schedules for surgeons at St. Olavs University Hospital using AI. However, there’s a long way to go from a working example to a robust software system that can actually be used in a hospital. So, the schedules were never used. 

I learned that we can only realise the potential of AI if we involve people from different disciplines and different organisations. In many ways, this sparked my interest, not just in AI, but B2B software in general. 

I’m also into chess, and AI has become an integral part of that sport, while maintaining human involvement and joy. I think that chess serves as a great example for what kind of AI development we should strive for in other areas, too. 

What do you currently find most interesting about AI?

There is stronger and stronger evidence that intelligence is medium independent. This means that the information processing capabilities that we call “intelligence” that take place in the human brain, also can happen in non-biological entities. 

This insight leaves us with an anticipated technological revolution where more and more human capabilities can be digitalised, automated, improved, and scaled. That leaves a lot of room to strategise about what future we want, and what we can do as society to get there. It’s very exciting to play a part in shaping that future. 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I’m engaged in Visma Resolve, where we create actual AI products and deliver them to other Visma companies through APIs. Here, my main contribution is empowering the great AI talent in the team, so that they can succeed with creating high-quality AI products that companies and end-customers can really benefit from. 

I’m also in frequent dialogue with key people in the Visma companies, learning about what opportunities and risks they see with AI. Based on this insight, combined with insight from eager reading and central AI strategizing, the goal is to provide relevant and actionable inspiration, advice, and strategies to the people in Visma. 

I do talks with larger groups, create and share AI strategy templates, meet with a lot of AI enthusiasts and Managing Directors, and I continuously work with building networks and a larger AI community in Visma. I’m also in meetings with AI vendors, such as Microsoft, Google, and AWS, regarding the latest AI technology and how we can utilise it to boost our people and products. 

What do you think the AI revolution means for the future?

I think that AI will be the defining technology of this century, and I see few limitations for its potential.

If we’re able to maintain the current technological progress by also stabilising geopolitics and climate change, I believe we have the chance to create meaningful jobs for everyone and spend more time with friends and family. 

Jacob Nyman

I also believe that AI technology will accelerate positive developments in all scientific areas, leading to, for instance, better healthcare and advancements in space. However, there’s also a risk of widespread malevolent use of AI, and this risk is much higher in an unstable world. 

In either scenario, it’s important for people to understand, learn, and engage in the field of AI to maintain a functioning democracy and a flourishing tech industry – where there are more AI developers with good intentions than bad.   

What are some of the most interesting AI projects you’ve been involved with, or seen first-hand, at Visma?

Reminiscing back to the origin of my AI enthusiasm, projects within the healthcare sector are particularly rewarding. We have two services, a route planner and a scheduler, that are applied in the healthcare sector to provide better services to patients. I’ve also seen several examples in Visma where software applications can be managed by natural text or voice. I see that as a new and much more inclusive standard for software, where also people with physical impairments can use the software easily and intuitively. 

What are some of the main things working with AI has taught you? 

The study of AI is humbling because it also partly studies human intelligence, including human behaviour, emotions, and our limitations. It provides a way to look at yourself from the outside in, and that’s a great foundation for self-awareness and self-improvement. 

I’ve also learned the importance and complexity of designing good goals. This is a crucial part of designing AI systems that’ll optimise goal performance, possibly with unintended consequences. This can be transferred into other goal design settings, too. Finally, AI is really showcasing the importance of working together as it’s so interdisciplinary. 

What would you say to someone who’s looking to get into the field of AI?

Great! We need a lot of expertise in this field, and we need people from all different backgrounds and disciplines to get involved. The challenges and opportunities we’ll face over the next decades will span well beyond technical challenges and impact everyone in their daily lives. 

Ethical AI is on top of everyone’s mind. What do you think are some of the ethical concerns or considerations that arise when working with AI, and how should teams address them?

The most basic hands-on concern is that the GDPR still applies with AI systems, and that we need to ensure that produced content is in accordance with IP rights. Together with our legal team, we have established and distributed a guideline for AI that addresses exactly this, and more. 

Beyond this, we also need to stay ahead of upcoming regulations as it’ll take time before they take effect. First off, we need to make sure that nobody is harmed, and preferably avoid the use of AI in safety-critical systems until proper regulations and control mechanisms are in place. Next, we need a responsible deployment of AI functionality, where we make sure that algorithms produce reliable, fair, and unbiased results in a transparent way. 

While the research on achieving this is somewhat immature, there are concrete techniques for explicitly avoiding bias, for instance. We can also opt for models that are more explainable, rather than black-box models. At Visma, we take inspiration from the EU AI Act and other industry standards to create our own framework for Responsible AI that we’ll implement internally, as we continue to scale up our AI offerings. 

How do you see Visma pushing the boundaries of innovation with AI technology? 

Visma is pushing these boundaries in some of the most critical functions in our societies. We want to empower entrepreneurs, businesses, and the public sector to do amazing things with this revolutionary technology. Our main contribution is a large-scale adoption of cutting edge AI APIs, combined with local presence and responsible delivery of AI software. On top of that, we also develop our own AI APIs that are tailored for Visma applications and consumers in Visma markets. 

Learn more about AI at Visma

Most popular