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Artificial Intelligence in the European Strategy for Data 2020

Artificial Intelligence in the Strategy for Data

This Communication outlines a strategy for policy measures and investments to enable the data economy for the coming five years. This data strategy is presented at the same time as the Commission’s Communication on “Shaping Europe’s digital future” and a White Paper on artificial intelligence that indicates how the Commission will support and promote the development and uptake of artificial intelligence across the EU.

Data is the lifeblood of economic development: it is the basis for many new products and services, driving productivity and resource efficiency gains across all sectors of the economy, allowing for more personalised products and services and enabling better policy making and upgrading government services. It is an essential resource for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing products and services. The availability of data is essential for training artificial intelligence systems, with products and services rapidly moving from pattern recognition and insight generation to more sophisticated forecasting techniques and, thus, better decisions

Availability of data: The value of data lies in its use and re-use. Currently there is not enough data available for innovative re-use, including for the development of artificial intelligence. The issues can be grouped according to who is the data holder and who is the data user, but also depend on the nature of data involved (i.e. personal data, non-personal data, or mixed data-sets combining the two). Several of the issues concern the availability of data for the public good.

Specifically, cloud uptake in the European public sector is low. This may lead to less efficient digital public services, not only because of the clear potential to cut IT costs by cloud adoption, but also because governments need the scalability of cloud computing to deploy technologies like Artificial Intelligence.

In the period 2021–2027, the Commission will invest in a High Impact Project on European data spaces and federated cloud infrastructures.. The project will fund infrastructures, data-sharing tools, architectures and governance mechanisms for thriving data-sharing and Artificial Intelligence ecosystems. It will be based on the European federation (i.e. interconnection) of energy-efficient and trustworthy edge and cloud infrastructures (Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-aService services).

The private sector, including notably SMEs, also needs data and cloud infrastructures and services that provide the essential features of security, sustainability, interoperability and scalability. This is essential for European businesses to benefit from a complete value chain of data generation, processing, access and re-use. The investment track will bring together private actors with public support to develop common platforms offering access to a large diversity of cloud services for secure data storage and sharing as well as applications ranging from artificial intelligence to simulation, modelling, digital twins and high performance computing (HPC) resources.

The Horizon Europe programme will continue to support technologies that are crucial for the next stages of the data economy, such as privacy preserving technologies and technologies underpinning industrial and personal data spaces. Several Horizon Europe candidate partnerships, such as the partnership for Artificial intelligence, data and robotics and the European Open Science Cloud partnership, that are in preparation can help steer the investments in this area

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Alex Moltzau

Alex Moltzau

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau

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