Dear members of the AI Alliance Community,
I am pleased to invite you all to the EU High-Level Conference on AI - From Ambition to Action (AI HLC), that Slovenia under its current Presidency of the Council of the European Union is organizing together with the European Commission.
The event will take place on 14-15 September 2021 in Slovenia bringing together experts, representatives of business and public sectors, NGOs and whoever from the public is interested in AI. Attendants will be able to connect through our web conferencing platform from all over the world and join our discussions on how we should live and cope with AI in our future societies.
AI is set as a priority of our Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This is why we are glad to hold the first large event officially presenting the European “AI Package” proposed on 21 April 2021. The conference will offer an opportunity to discuss the ways to regulate, implement and boost the potential of ethical AI in Europe. By putting human beings into the center we are now all together embarking on a journey towards AI excellence and trust. In this journey we are not alone, the EU works closely together with its Member States while other International partners are joining efforts to assure that AI is built and used for our own benefits, and the benefits of the societies that abide by democratic values, rule of law and human rights.
Slovenia has a long history of AI research. We have supported dedicated AI research and established university-level curricula for more than 40 years. During this time, a large number of computer science and electrical engineering students have been educated in AI through diploma, master, and Ph.D. programs. AI or maybe better said different fields of AI have gone through many ups and downs in popularity and interest throughout the research community. However, recent developments of some AI methods (particularly deep learning) based on the availability of increased computational power and the increasing amount of available data have brought AI into everyday life. We believe this is only the beginning of a long journey of business and societal transformation that is ahead of us.
Slovenia strives to continue this path with renewed efforts. We have invested in leading HPC Vega supercomputing facilities within EuroHPC initiatives. The National Programme for AI adopted by the Slovenian government this May builds on the Coordinated Plan in AI by proposing comprehensive measures for innovation diffusion and knowledge transfer from research to uptake and for supporting the consolidation of national stakeholders in building a vibrant innovation ecosystem. We have enhanced international cooperation by establishing the first International Research Center for AI (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO to help countries in coping with opportunities and threats of AI focusing on Sustainable Development Goals. Slovenia is a founding member of the Global Partnership for AI (GPAI) with a view to implementing ethical and trustworthy AI in real-life scenarios as a competitive advantage for our business and the future evolution of our democratic human rights-based society. We participate in the efforts of the Council of Europe where our expert is leading the CAHAI group. We are convinced that for effectively tackling AI we need international cooperation.
Therefore, our Presidency is keen to promote discussions on how to properly regulate AI and support its future development in a sustainable way. The conference will enable policymakers and leaders from research, business, civil society and governments to listen and discuss open issues. Our journey might be long but we know that only open discussion and wide participation can lead us further in understanding possible impacts of different choices we will make to remain on course.
The conference will focus on different aspects that are crucial for the work ahead of us. AI regulation, standardization, governance, and liability will be discussed on the first day of the conference. EU is the first to tackle these problems this way in the world. Enabling environment providing financing of AI innovation, promoting green AI, and assuring AI skills and education will be discussed the second day.
We will complement presentations of distinguished guests and panelists with a supportive environment for actively providing your views, engaging in discussions with peers, and for arranging to follow-up activities within your communities. You can already start by posting your comments in the thread below or posting in the forum of the AI Alliance.
We are eager to get your thoughts and views.
You are all invited to attend this important event and join our journey bringing “AI from ambition into action”.