The EU is pursuing a digital strategy that builds on our successful history of technology, innovation and ingenuity, vested in European values, and projecting them onto the international stage. The White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the European data strategy presented today show that Europe can set global standards on technological development while putting people first. Digital technologies considerably improve our lives, from better access to knowledge and content to how we do business, communicate or buy goods and services. The EU must ensure that the digital transformation works for the benefit of all people, not just a few. Citizens should have the opportunity to flourish, choose freely, engage in society and at the same time feel safe online.
This translation by Jeffrey Ding, edited by Paul Triolo, covers some of the most interesting parts of the Standards Administration of China's 2018 White Paper on Artificial Intelligence Standardization, a joint effort by more than 30 academic and industry organizations overseen by the Chinese Electronics Standards Institute. Ding, Triolo, and Samm Sacks describe the importance of this white paper and other Chinese government efforts to influence global AI development and policy formulation in their companion piece, "Chinese Interests Take a Big Seat at the AI Governance Table." Historical experience demonstrates that new technologies can often improve productivity and promote societal progress. But at the same time, as artificial intelligence (AI) is still in the early phrase of development, the policies, laws, and standards for safety, ethics, and privacy in this area are worthy of attention. In the case of AI technology, issues of safety, ethics, and privacy have a direct impact on people's trust in AI technology in their interaction experience with AI tools.
The European Union's executive body, the EC, has taken a first pass at drawing up a strategy to respond to the myriad socio-economic challenges around artificial intelligence technology -- including setting out steps intended to boost investment, support education and training, and draw up an ethical and legal framework for steering AI developments by the end of the year. It says it's hoping to be able to announce a "coordinated plan on AI" by the end of 2018, working with the bloc's 28 Member States to get there. "The main aim is to maximise the impact of investment at the EU and national levels, encourage cooperation across the EU, exchange best practices, and define the way forward together, so as to ensure the EU's global competitiveness in this sector," writes the Commission, noting it will also continue to invest in initiatives it views as "key" for AI (specifically name-checking the development of components, systems and chipsets designed to run AI operations; high-performance computers; projects related to quantum technologies; and ongoing work to map the human brain). Commenting on the strategy in a statement, the EC VP for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "Without data, we will not make the most of artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and other technological advances. These technologies can help us to improve healthcare and education, transport networks and make energy savings: this is what the smart use of data is all about.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an area of strategic importance and a key driver of economic development. It can bring solutions to many societal challenges from treating diseases to minimising the environmental impact of farming. However, socio-economic, legal and ethical impacts have to be carefully addressed. It is essential to join forces in the European Union to stay at the forefront of this technological revolution, to ensure competitiveness and to shape the conditions for its development and use (ensuring respect of European values). The Commission is increasing its annual investments in AI by 70% under the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.