On December 7th 2018, the European Commission presented a coordinated plan, prepared with its Member States, Norway and Switzerland, to foster the development and use of AI in Europe. This plan aims to the develop Europe into a world-leading region for developing and deploying cutting-edge, ethical and secure AI.
Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said: “Like electricity in the past, AI is transforming the world. Together with Member States we will increase investments for rolling out AI into all sectors of the economy, support advanced skills and maximise the availability of data. The coordinated action plan will ensure that Europe reaps the benefits of AI for citizens and businesses and competes globally, while safeguarding trust and respecting ethical values.””
The member states, including Norway and Switzerland, have prioritised areas of public interest: increasing investment, making more data available, fostering talent and ensuring trust.
The plan foresees increased coordination of public and private investments in research and innovation in AI, cumulating into more than €20 billion per year in the decade from 2020 on! Additionally the Commission will invest €1.5 billion by 2020. For the next long-term EU budget (2021-2027) the EU has proposed to invest at least €7 billion from Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Programme in AI.
Further agreements include the development of national AI strategies for all Member States by mid-2019; a new European AI public-private partnership to foster collaboration between academia and industry in Europe that has to define a common strategic research agenda on AI; a new scale-up fund for startups and innovators and the development of world-leading centres for AI in Europe.
Together with the Member States, including Norway and Switzerland, the Commission will also create common data spaces to enable data sharing in line with the General Data Protection Regulation. As to the benefits of AI to the health sector the Commission will support the development of a common health database with anonymised medical data sets. By mid-2019, the Commission will launch a support centre for data sharing, to give practical advice to all European participants in the data economy.
Furthermore the Commission has effected measures to ‘nurture talent, skills and life-long learning’. To develop ethical and trustworthy AI a European group of experts, representing academia, business, and civil society, is working on ethics guidelines for the development and use of AI.
This extensive plan, delivers on the European AI Strategy adopted last April 2018.
Source: press release EC, 7 December 2018.
To the Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence, EC, 7 December 2018.