Member States and Commission to work together to boost artificial intelligence “made in Europe”
Delivering on its strategy on artificial intelligence adopted in April 2018 today the Commission presented a coordinated plan prepared with Member States to foster the development and use of artificial intelligence in Europe.
This plan proposes joint actions for closer and more efficient cooperation between Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the Commission in four key areas: increasing investment, making more data available, fostering talent and ensuring trust. Stronger coordination is essential for Europe to become the world-leading region for developing and deploying cutting-edge, ethical and secure artificial intelligence.
Maximise investments through partnerships
Investment levels for artificial intelligence in the EU are low and fragmented, compared with other parts of the world such as the US and China. In line with the artificial intelligence strategy presented in April, the plan foresees increased coordination of investments, leading to higher synergies and at least €20 billion of public and private investments in research and innovation in artificial intelligence from now until the end of 2020 and more than €20 billion per year from public and private investments over the following decade. Complementing national investments, the Commission will invest €1.5 billion by 2020, 70% more than in compared to 2014-2017. 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.
Create European data spaces
Large, secure and robust datasets need to be available for artificial intelligence technology to be developed. Together with European countries, the Commission will create common European data spaces to make data sharing across borders seamless, while ensuring full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Nurture talent, skills and life-long learning
Talent in Europe is essential for the development and use of artificial intelligence, but EU countries face shortages of ICT professionals and lack AI-specialised higher education programmes. That is why the Commission, together with European countries, will support advanced degrees in artificial intelligence through, for example, dedicated scholarships. The Commission will also continue to support digital skills and lifelong learning for the whole of society, and especially for workers most affected by artificial intelligence, as detailed in its AI strategy.
Develop ethical and trustworthy artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence raises new ethical questions, for example potentially biased decision-making. To create trust, which is necessary for societies to accept and use artificial intelligence, the coordinated plan aims to develop a technology which respects fundamental rights and ethical rules. A European group of experts, representing academia, business, and civil society, is working on ethics guidelines for the development and use of artificial intelligence. A first version will be published by the end of 2018 and the experts will present their final version to the Commission in March 2019 after wide consultation through the European AI Alliance. The ambition is then to bring Europe’s ethical approach to the global stage. The Commission is opening up cooperation to all non-EU countries that are willing to share the same values.