Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear AI enthusiasts, members of the AI Alliance Community,
First and foremost, thanks to all of you who participated in a High-level Conference on AI (HLC AI), which took place both on-line and physically in a green and digital Slovenia.
At this point, I wish to highlight a vision of Europe that’s innovative, entrepreneurial, and AI-driven. That’s because we, the Europeans, need a strong and smart Europe more than ever, and so does the world.
The good news is that Europe excels at creating and exporting forward-looking regulation. Just look at GDPR or environmental legislation. They have been copied all over the world and that’s something we should be proud of.
The not-so-good news is that we are not yet nearly as good at creating and exporting digital services. For years, Europe has been lagging behind the US and China in economic dynamism and technological progress.
If you look at the top 30 global tech companies, only one is European: German SAP, established almost 50 years ago. In the past decade over 600 companies around the world went on to become unicorns. Only one out of eight is European.
There is no doubt that we need comprehensive regulation of digital markets and services to ensure fair competition and safeguard our core values. However, we also need to create an environment that will breed digital champions of the future.
How do we get there is, of course, a trillion-dollar question. We must complete the single market, especially for digital and other services. That will allow our startups to scale their operations across the continent without hiring a legion of lawyers.
We need to boost research funding and encourage closer collaboration between our excellent universities and the industry. We also need to make it easier for businesses to raise capital and attract top talent.
And last but not least, we need to harness the potential of AI to improve lives of our citizens while safeguarding the European way of life. Europe has a historic opportunity not only to become the regulatory leader in the area of AI, but also to establish itself as the winner of the global AI race.
The EU is making significant progress on many of these fronts, especially when it comes to AI. I am certain that the creation of the European single market for data will be a game-changer for European AI. We are also increasing funding for strategic projects in AI and other key areas.
Slovenia has decided a long time ago to elevate AI-driven digital transformation to the very top of our EU presidency agenda. Together with our partners, we are working very hard to achieve meaningful progress on key legislative proposals, especially the Artificial Intelligence Act.
Establishing a values-based regulatory foundation for human-centric AI is crucial for building people’s trust in this rather complex phenomenon. I am certain that increased transparency and oversight will benefit citizens and business alike.
I am delighted that we’ve had a chance to address many of these issues at our HLC AI. The discussions and messages of the conference were extremely rich, and I am convinced that we will continue to draw from their content in the future.
In the end I’d like to congratulate to all of us.
At HLC AI we did some very good steps, now we should courageously continue stepping forward on Slovenian and Europe’s path from ambition to action.