The European Commission is planning to strengthen Europe’s technological and industrial capacity by setting up an artificial intelligence platform, which purpose will be to allow access to useful resources through a single portal. The issue of AI will also be included in the profile of some of the digital innovation centres in EU regions. So every enterprise, whether small, medium or large, will be able to test and integrate artificial intelligence solutions into its products and services.

This became clear during a press conference following a high-level meeting of states developing artificial intelligence capacity. The event was organised by the European Economic and Social Committee and the EC and brought together representatives of business, academia, civil society, politicians and non-governmental organisations. It discussed the next steps to accelerate progress on the EU’s strategy for artificial intelligence, based on three pillars: industrial competitiveness, socio-economic impact and legal and ethical challenges.

The measures regarding legal and ethical issues arising from the development of artificial intelligence have also been clarified. The newly created High Level Expert Group, comprising 52 experts, must propose ethical guidelines for the development and use of artificial intelligence. It will also play a key role in setting up a European Alliance on artificial intelligence, bringing together all stakeholders.

For budget 2021-2027, the EC has proposed a significant increase in support for research and innovation for artificial intelligence through the new Horizon 2020 programme. Moreover, the new Digital Europe programme foresees almost €2.5 billion for the development of AI for improving technological capacity and ensuring the deployment of digital technologies in the European economy.

From this year, the European Commission will increase its investment in artificial intelligence by another 1.5 billion euros for the period 2018-2020, hoping for this to attract additional private funding of €2.5 billion. In addition to increasing public and private investment in the field of artificial intelligence, the EC will prepare socio-economic changes linked to the training of future staff and provide an appropriate ethical and legal framework.

The Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom are leading in the introduction of artificial intelligence, while Germany, Austria and Switzerland apply this technology relatively slowly. This shows a study by Fujitsu tech giant conducted jointly with the consultancy company Pierre Audoin Consultants, among senior business and IT management of 240 European companies.