The past decade has known a surge of breakthroughs in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Increased computer power, the availability of big data, as well as advances in research have led to ever more AI and big-data applications being used in all domains of our lives. Europe is well positioned to reap the benefits that those applications can bring, disposing of all necessary elements to generate beneficial innovation. AI and big data however also pose a number of risks, from hampering people’s fundamental rights such as privacy, autonomy or non-discrimination, to causing physical or other types of damage. Europe must therefore put in place the necessary safeguards to ensure that the technology’s risks are adequately addressed, and that European citizens remain protected. As the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI indicated, this not only requires a thorough evaluation – and potential adaptation – of our current regulatory frameworks but may also bring the need to introduce new regulation and governance mechanisms. It will be up to the new European legislature to ensure that the challenges raised by AI are adequately tackled, and that Europe will be able to flourish in the AI era.
The 1st AI & Big Data Innovation Summit organised by the Knowledge4Innovation Forum is taking place from 2 – 5 December in the European Parliament in Brussels. This is an outstanding opportunity to meet and discuss with newly elected MEPs and the new Commission (Commission President UVDL tbc) about the opportunity for Europe to become a global leader in AI and data driven innovations and how policy can support and if necessary, regulate AI and big data developments.
The programme covers topics around policy-making and regulation, the use of AI and data analytics to exploit open (research) data and a series of concrete examples of how AI & Big Data innovation will transform industries and society. A key target will be the use of data to make better decisions and predict outcomes/impact of policy measures and investments in R&I.
The European Commission President – elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has already stressed investment in AI would be one of her priorities.
"Data and AI are the ingredients for innovation that can help us to find solutions to societal challenges, from health to farming, from security to manufacturing," von der Leyen said in her agenda for Europe adding "In my first 100 days in office, I will put forward legislation for a coordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of artificial intelligence".