25 European countries have signed a declaration of cooperation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in early April. And a strategy paper of AI will be published by the EU Digital Commissioner on 25 April. EU countries are strengthening AI cooperation to compete with China and the US, who have invested more in this area. In addition to the new research funding, laws and policies support will be also put into use for AI development.
AI development in EU countries
Although some EU countries are not yet leading the high-tech industries, some countries had already taken actions to improve AI.
French government boosts its AI strategy in some key areas. The president had announced that France will invest €1.5 billion into AI research and development, and encouraged enterprises to collect more data for AI. Additionally, Emmanuel Macron expressed that AI’s use in automobile and healthcare industry indicates its bright future. Moreover, technology giants like Google, Samsung and Fujitsu will set up AI centers in France, which bring powerful technology support to the country.
Ireland is also one of the countries that signed the Declaration. It has established AI ecosystem consists of multinational technology companies and local small and middle sized companies. The AI ecosystem provides solution to various sectors, such as travel, biopharma, video gaming and movie industries. Their AI competency will also be enhanced by joining the European AI Alliance.
Despite the benefits that AI brings to human beings, its ethnic problems have also raised public concerns. UK tries to lead on AI ethnic instead of AI spending. A report published by the House of Lords suggested the UK governments creating a “common framework for the ethical development and deployment of artificial intelligence systems.” The ethical approach could make the public trust AI and get to know its benefits.
Challenges and solutions
For the EU countries, sticking together is better than working separately. They can exchange views, set up research centers, improve information security and regulate laws by collaboration, and tackling the challenges.
Take the example of data security to develop AI, EU should balance data privacy with data sharing. Europeans attach great importance to data privacy. Related statistics showed that 70% percent of French are worried about data loss when they use search engines in the Internet, and 65% of Germany do not like to share their location data with business partners. Thus they need to launch regulations to ensure citizens’ data privacy to win their trust.
What’s more, if AI is advanced enough to totally replace human to work, people will get into panic. Mr. Pat Breen, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection had said they aim to keep humans at the center of AI development. Because AI is not equal to human, it’s just an advanced technology to assist people’s work.
AI may bring some ethnic problems as well. It is difficult to deal with problems caused by AI. For instance, when someone has an accident caused by AI car, who should take the responsibility? It’s a big task for governments to promulgate related laws.
The EU countries still need to do a lot if they want to compete with China and the US. Signing up the Declaration to cooperate is just the first step.