European Commission outlines AI approach

The European Commission has announced a set of measures to ‘put artificial intelligence (AI) at the service of European and boost Europe’s competitiveness in this field’. The measures, detailed in a Communication, are built on three main pillars. First, the Commission plans to invest €1,5 billion by 2020 in AI research and innovation, as well as to stimulate more private investments in AI by mobilising more than €500 million in the framework of its European Fund for Strategic Investments. To stimulate the development of AI technologies, which are based on data, the Commission is proposing legislation to increase the availability of data for re-use and to facilitate the sharing of data. Second, the Commission will support stakeholders prepare for socio-economic changes brought about by AI, especially in the fields of education, training, and labour, through actions such as encouraging business-education partnership to attract and retain AI talent, setting up dedicated (re)training schemes, and supporting traineeships and other capacity development programmes in advanced digital skills. Third, the EU executive body will work on a set of ethical guidelines on AI development, to be presented by the end of 2018. It will also issue guidelines on how the Product Liability Directive applies in the context of new technologies to ensure ‘legal clarity for consumers and producers’.