Coordinated plan on artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help us address some of the world’s biggest challenges. It can enable doctors to improve diagnoses and develop therapies for diseases for which none exist yet; it can reduce energy consumption by optimising resources; it can contribute to a cleaner environment by lessening the need for pesticides; it can help improve weather prediction and anticipate disasters; and so on. The list is virtually endless. AI will be the main driver of economic and productivity growth and will contribute to the sustainability and viability of the industrial base in Europe. Like the steam engine or electricity in the past, AI is transforming the world.
The Union aims to develop trusted AI based on ethical and societal values building on its Charter of Fundamental Rights. People should not only trust AI, but also benefit from the use of AI for their personal and professional lives. Europe aims at creating an innovation friendly ecosystem for AI: an environment where economic players find the infrastructure, research facilities, testing environments, financial means, legal framework and adequate skills levels to invest in and deploy AI. Overall, the ambition is for Europe to become the world-leading region for developing and deploying cutting-edge, ethical and secure AI, promoting a human-centric approach in the global context.
AI has been high on the agenda of the Council of the EU since the Digital Summit organised by the Estonian Presidency in September 2017. The Communication “Artificial Intelligence for Europe” of 25 April 2018 proposes a European strategy in support of this goal. The Communication also proposes a coordinated plan on the development of AI in Europe, to be drawn up with the Member States by the end of 2018. This was endorsed by the European Council. The present document responds to this request. Only if Member States and the Commission work together will Europe be able to turn vision into reality.
The coordinated plan builds on a “declaration of cooperation” that was signed by all EU Member States and Norway in the context of the Digital Day 2018, emphasising the willingness to cooperate more closely on AI. The Austrian Presidency of the EU also included AI as a priority in the context of the transformation of the industry.
The main goals of the coordinated plan are to maximise the impact of investments at EU and national levels, encourage synergies and cooperation across the EU, including on ethics, foster the exchange of best practices and collectively define the way forward. By working together the Union can maximise its impact to compete globally.
The Member States’ Group on Digitising European Industry and AI and the Commission discussed between June and November 2018 possible strands for cooperation. In order to accommodate the fast pace of the AI-induced change in societies and economies Member States, Norway and Switzerland agreed to put in place a rolling coordinated plan that is to be monitored and reviewed annually, so as to ensure it remains up to date. The present document is the first edition of this plan and mainly comprises activities for 2019 and 2020, with emphasis on planned EU-level activities under the current financial framework. The plan is expected to run into the next decade, possibly until 2027, in line with the next multi-annual financial framework.
A need for coordinated action has been identified in the fields of investment, excellence in and diffusion of AI, data availability, societal challenges, ethics and the regulatory framework. Actions concern both private and public sectors with many synergies.
This content is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
Jurisdiction: Europe - EU
Date published: 12 Jul 2018
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence