On 7 December 2018, the European Commission published a Communication on the Coordinated Plan on AI, together with a Coordinated Plan on the Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence Made in Europe – 2018, prepared by Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the Commission.
The Council discussed the Plan during the course of January 2019, and on 18 February 2019 adopted conclusions on the Plan, underlining the crucial importance of fostering the development and use of AI in Europe by increasing investment, reinforcing excellence in AI technologies and applications, and strengthening research and innovation collaboration between industry and academia in this area.
The Council’s conclusions (amongst other things):
- encourage start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs, and innovative companies to contribute to and benefit from the development and broadest uptake of AI in the economy;
- emphasise the importance of coordinated action in order to maximise the impact of investments made at European, national and regional level, including those supported by the European Investment Bank, in order to increase the competitiveness of European industry at a global level;
- stress the need for more secure and high quality publicly and privately held data being available with the requisite safeguards put in place for the development of AI technology and the creation of trusted common European data spaces;
- call for the development of secure solutions for giving easy access to data and the integrity of data;
- emphasise the urgency of promoting a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts of digitalisation and AI, incorporating digital skills with a special focus on AI at all levels of education;
- call on Member States and the Commission to exchange best practices on how to reinforce excellence and create ecosystems to retain and attract talents from within and to the EU, to support the development and uptake of AI;
- highlight the importance of ensuring the full respect of European citizens’ rights by implementing ethics guidelines for the development and use of AI within the EU and at a global level;
- underline that all EU legislation should be fit for purpose and encourage the cross-border development and application of AI-based technologies; and
- encourage all stakeholders to participate in the development of standards for Artificial Intelligence technologies to increase competitiveness.
To access the Council’s conclusions, click here.