AI development in EU

AI is the next stage of digital evolution that can lead to major economic and social benefits. It holds great potential for increasing productivity in existing industries, enabling completely new business models and creating wholly new products and services. AI investment is growing fast in recent years and machine learning has matured to the point that it can be applied widely, covering a broad range of technologies and applications. US, China, UK, South Korea and some other countries have issued national strategic plans in AI development. As stated in The Global Artificial Intelligence Landscape (https://asgard.vc/global-ai/), the dominance of US, Chinese and Israel companies in AI is prevailing.

The leading country for Artificial Intelligence in Europe is UK followed by Germany and France. AI ecosystems in EU are distributed unevenly, aforementioned countries account for over 50 % of the European total. AI`s value is underestimated in many European countries. Thus, it is understandable to expect higher “inertia” to move such a complex system of countries (…and governments).

It is important for EU to use AI competence in leveraging its industrial expertise. To remain competitive, EC should give a priority to AI and play a coordinating role in its development.  It is crucial for EU to have common strategic plan. EC should encourage governments of EU countries to act in increasing uptake of AI. What we need is a combination of education, research, entrepreneurship and funding to build a sustainable and competitive AI ecosystem. All these ingredients are available in EU, they just need more focus to different aspect of AI.

Comments

Geplaatst door Jaroslav BARAN op wo, 08/01/2018 - 16:52

Hello Jozef,

Thank you for your contribution. Maybe you are aware that in April, the Commission has, in fact, published a Communication in which it outlined the European AI strategy. Most of the topics that you are mentioning are already part of this strategy. At the moment, we are looking into more concrete ways of elaborating this strategy. Within the European AI Alliance, in the initial stage we are working together with the members and the High-Level Expert group on AI, to define priorities in ethics and potential improvements of EU policy. Your opinions on these areas would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jaro

Als antwoord op door Jaroslav BARAN

Geplaatst door Jozef Svitek op di, 08/21/2018 - 13:19

Hello Jaro,

Sorry for the delay. I was aware of Communication, but I went through it again. I can not agree more with this document as a whole and I hope that most of this strategy will convert step by step to reality. But the readiness of EU member countries to embrace AI technology is different from region to region. Of course adoption of AI depends on capacity for innovations, access to resources, readiness of business and governments... But there are governments´ IT projects being approved in this summer, funded by EU (over 100 Mil. EUR just in Slovakia) that have nothing to do with AI. They were approved despite of objections  IT community that they are poorly prepared. I do not believe that this is just exception. This is what I called "inertia" in my contribution. Success of aforementioned strategy will depend on the way how we will be able to overcome this "inertia" and include AI in IT projects planned for 2020 and more, even in emerging economies.

Als antwoord op door Jozef Svitek

Geplaatst door Jaroslav BARAN op di, 08/21/2018 - 14:35

Thank you for the elaboration! The Commission services have initiated a dialogue with EU Member States in order to boost adoption of digital technologies including AI. Indeed, one of the ways of introducing these technologies to the citizens and companies is showcasing them in public service. I believe that some of the new Member States are particularly strong at this. Public procurement is one of the examples where, indeed, European added value could be achieved. By using best practices from the member states that are more advanced in digital technology, others could quickly catch up.

On top of the EU-led Digitising European Industry initiative, there are many initiatives already taking place in this regard, complementing or bulding on the work of the EU. The "Digital 9" regularly meets to discuss possible advancements, deeper cooperation has been proposed within the Nordic Council, and perhaps interestingly for you, the Visegrad Group has released a non-paper on cooperation in artificial intelligence. Still, I agree that much more needs to be done to combat fragmentation and ensure European competitiveness in digital technology and AI.