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blog 20 feb 2020

A Europe fit for the digital age

Geschreven door Barend van de Wal
Dit artikel is alleen beschikbaar in het Engels. 19 February 2020 the EU unveiled its plans to encourage businesses to work with, and develop, technology using Artificial Intelligence. This move was expected after the 2016 US report “Preparing for the future of Artificial Intelligence”, which contained a number of recommendations for leveraging AI, and the Chinese government’s announcement in 2017 that it intends to have attained AI supremacy by 2030.

The EU aims to attract more than 20 billion of investment per year into the field of AI over the next decade. The EU will also put regulations into place to protect EU citizens from unethical use of AI. For instance, some diseases may be detected based on data collected by mobile phones or wearable sensors, and such data should not be processed or collected for this purpose without the user’s consent.

It is hoped the funding will help to narrow the gap in AI development between the EU and other trade blocks. According to an article published by the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2018, 78% of AI-related patent applications were initially filed in the US, Japan and China. Chinese research organizations make up 17 of the top 20 academic players in AI patenting and 11 of the top 20 in AI-related scientific publications. The number of AI related patent applications has been increasing exponentially at least since 2002.

The EU aims to attract more than 20 billion of investment per year into the field of AI over the next decade. It is hoped the funding will help to narrow the gap in AI development between the EU and other trade blocks.

Though many European manufacturers make use of AI, the number of scientific and patent publications by EU researchers has so far stayed behind.

The Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe (CLAIRE), which facilitates collaborative research for more than 350 AI research labs across Europe, has welcomed the EU’s plans and believes it will incentivize AI researches to stay in Europe, instead of moving to the US or China to be at the forefront of developments. CLAIRE has just opened its headquarters in The Hague.