Malta launches AI strategy

Malta has launched a national strategy for artificial intelligence (AI), outlining objectives and activities aimed to help the country ‘gain a strategic competitive advantage in the global economy as a leader in the AI field’. Titled ‘Malta – The Ultimate AI Launchpad’, the strategy is focused on three strategic pillars: (a) investment, start-ups and innovation; (b) public sector adoption; and (c) private sector adoption. Envisioning that Malta ‘can be a model nation focused on excelling in the application of AI across specific fields’, the government plans to increase research and development activities, attract international investors, and support entrepreneurs to establish AI-related business ventures. When it comes to the deployment of AI across the public sector, Malta is planning a series of pilot projects in areas such as education, healthcare, tourism, and public utilities. Beyond the three strategic pillars, the strategy also emphasises the need to focus on education and the labour market. It outlines measures aimed, among others, at assisting workers to adapt to the new requirements of the digital age, and at equipping students with AI knowledge. Ethical and legal issues are also tackled in the strategy. The government plans to establish a national AI certification programme for ethically aligned, transparent and socially responsible AI applications. Moreover, a Technology Regulation Advisory Committee will be formed to advise on laws and regulations covering AI-related issues. Finally, the strategic document present measures dedicated to creating an underlying infrastructure to support the development and deployment of AI. These measures cover areas such as open data availability, access to computing capabilities, and securing national AI solutions.