The EU-commission wants to go big on AI

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AI The US and China are way ahead of Europe regarding development of autonomous computer systems. That disadvantage must change if European business and industry is to retain its competitive edge into the future, writes Olof Erixon, Senior legal counsel.

Olof Erixon - 001

Olof Erixon, Senior legal counsel

This is the basis for the EU Commission’s reasoning in its recent communication on artificial intelligence. It wants to make large investments into AI-related technology research, and hopes to be able to leverage EU support money to get additional funding, reaching a total amount of 200 billion SEK (around 18 billion Euro) for such purposes within a two-year period.

Artificial intelligence is already in use for quite some number of applications, albeit not very often consciously thought about by ourselves. These applications are far removed from the dystopian visions of current Sci-fi movies. AI has the potential to give humanity a lot more tools to work on all the problems facing us. But AI also has the potential for negative uses. The EU Commission intends to use parts of the central Union budget, complemented with funds from the member states, to build a counter-weight to the current dominance of this area by China and the US. If this is not done European companies, and in consequence European citizens, will inevitably and irrevocably lose out in global economic competition.

Thus, the EU Commission proposes that

  • Large funds are earmarked for AI research, AI innovation and facilitating access to the large volumes of data consisting the necessary fuel for AI applications.
  • All and sundry prepare themselves for the socio-economic changes expected in the wake of the AI revolution. This includes education and training systems, as well as labour market support measures.
  • A legal and ethical framework is created within the EU, for instance regarding product liability, taking full account of EU citizen’s basic right.

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has on its own part laid down a number of foundation stones, regarding how we feel several of the principal issues raised ought to be addressed when AI becomes generally applied. You will find them through this link:

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