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The Achilles' heel of Europe's AI strategy


This article is part of a special report on artificial intelligence, The AI Issue. Europe's plan to ride a new wave of AI innovation into a technological renaissance relies on companies sharing their data with researchers and entrepreneurs. But will the companies play along? According to interviews with industry groups representing Silicon Valley, European tech companies and Germany's industrial base, the answer for now is: maybe, but only to a limited extent, and even then only when sharing data will not benefit rivals. "We haven't seen any single company speaking up in public saying it was a great idea," said Alexandre Roure of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), a tech lobby whose members include Google and Facebook.

New AI association warns: Support us or the economy suffers


A new federal association for artificial intelligence is trying to help Germany catch up on tech. The government pays lip service to new digital tools, but critics say it's not enough. If we don't act now, then in 10 years, the German economy will no longer be competitive: That's the message from the country's brand new Federal Association for Artificial Intelligence. The association, which was formed in March this year and has around 50 businesses who work in the sector as members, released a position paper this week with a direct appeal to Chancellor Angela Merkel's government. The paper contains nine points that association members believe are necessary if the country is to keep up to date with modern technology.

EU sets out plans for Big Data and AI


Addressing the European Parliament, commissioner Thierry Breton introduced a new initiative called'European Strategy for Europe - Fit for the Digital Age', which includes a whitepaper on artificial intelligence and the European Strategy for Data which will work to inform a new legislative framework. The overarching theme of Breton's delivery focused on developing an EU strategy such that the deep-rooted transformations of digital technologies work to serve European citizens and not the other way around. Breton added that these technologies must be secure and must not be sold off at a reduced price During his address Breton explained that the Big Tech giants have changed the way we communicate and have even come to shape the way we form democracies. There is a gigantic wave of data coming over us, the Commissioner explained and "by 2030, we think there will be 500 billion connected items over the planet and great dataset will emerge". Given Europe's developed industrial base, Breton says that the data that will be extracted from a raft of industry sectors will enable the EU to leverage and monetise this significant asset.

Europe and AI: Leading, Lagging Behind, or Carving Its Own Way?


For its AI ecosystem to thrive, Europe needs to find a way to protect its research base, encourage governments to be early adopters, foster its startup ecosystem, expand international links, and develop AI technologies as well as leverage their use efficiently.

The EU wants to build its first quantum computer. That plan might not be ambitious enough


EU Commission vice president Margrethe Vestager and commissioner Thierry Breton presented a new roadmap for the next 10 years - the '2030 digital compass'. The European Union is determined to remain a competitive player in the quantum revolution that's expected in the next decade, and has unveiled plans to step up the development of quantum technologies within the bloc before 2030. EU Commission vice president Margrethe Vestager and commissioner Thierry Breton have presented a new roadmap for the next 10 years, the '2030 digital compass', which sets out targets for digital transformation across many different fields, in an effort to reassert the bloc's relevance in a range of technologies. New objectives were set for quantum technologies, with the Commission targeting a first computer with quantum acceleration by 2025, paving the way for Europe to be "at the cutting edge" of quantum capabilities by 2030. The ultimate goal, according to the roadmap, is for the EU to be able to develop quantum computers which are highly efficient, fully programmable and accessible from anywhere in Europe, to solve in hours what can currently be solved in hundreds of days, if not years.