The event theme, AI for Sustainability, marks the first event under the new focus of the K4I Forum on Innovation for Purpose – Innovations for Good announced during the New Year Reception in the European Parliament on 24 January.This year’s AI Summit is taking place at a decisive moment when Europe is drafting the AI Act with tremendous effects for all areas of life. No doubt AI can play a key role in reaching European Green Deal objectives and UN SD Goals. How AI can be used to address climate challenges will be presented and discussed throughout the event.More generally AI has the potential to accelerate innovation and is nowadays used not only by AI startups but by almost any startup. Small and young businesses have limited administrative capacity and financial resources. They need a framework allowing them to test without too many burdens as this can be done when applying so-called Regulatory Sandboxes for example.AI will also play a major role in science and research and as such become an indispensable tool for European programs in research and innovation such as Horizon Europe.A lunch debate organized in cooperation with TU Delft will discuss how we can adapt to global warming which will become ever more important as we struggle to keep the earth’s average temperature rise below 1.5 Celsius.Finally, the participants will have ample opportunity to network from breakfast to dinner and during a Cocktail Reception.
MARIA DA GRAÇA CARVALHO, K4I Forum Chair, MEP, EPP, Portugal
I really believe that AI is something that will stay, that will help us a lot, if it is well used society understands the importance of AI.I always call the attention that we need to be extremely careful when we are regulating something that is very innovative, very new, because the speed of the development of the innovation is higher than the speed of regulators.
ANDREAS LIEBL, Managing Director, appliedAI Institute for Europe
We really need to think about European competitiveness when we talk about AI and the AI Act. We need to reduce the total amount of high-risk cases and reduce the amount of uncertainty. We need to conceptualize regulatory sandboxes in a way that they can really drive innovation.
JONAS ANDRULIS, CEO & Founder, Aleph Alpha GmbH
I would argue that we need to have the value created by this technology in Europe to face the political, social, and cultural changes that this brings.TILL KLEINHead of Trustworthy, AIappliedAI Initiative GmbHIt is very much important to reduce the uncertainty so that we come from something between 15 to 40% of unclear cases to more like zero to 5%.
FRANZ PFISTER, CTO and Co-Founder, Ocumeda GmbH
Then a big question which comes up in many discussions with our AI partners with other digital health companies is why do we actually have two regulations that have such a huge overlap for healthcare startups? Isn’t there any opportunity for harmonisation? Because we do the same test twice, but we need to invest double the resources.
CHRISTOPHER HAARBURGER, BENEDIKT WIECHERS, CTO and Co-Founder, and CEO at Ocumeda
The first point is to harmonise the medical device regulation and the AI Act to avoid redundancy. The second point is that the time to market for products like ours will be further increasing. And the third point is to compensate for the regulatory efforts, public funding for European startups and SMEs that develop AI products should be increased.
CARLO VAN DE WEIJER, General Manager, EAISI TU Eindhoven
Potentially AI can create many problems and this is why we need the AI Act. However it is very important that the AI Act does not stifle innovation. We cannot afford EU regulation that hinders innovation in Europe leaving us behind the other regions.IRINA ORSSICHHead of Sector AI policy, European CommissionThe AI Act is not about creating a new system of law, but to make it possible to enforce the law which is already in place. What we are doing with our requirements, is to try to make sure that it is easy to implement existing rules.
TSVETELINA PENKOVA, Member of the European Parliament
The AI Act is a good example of setting legal certainty. When you have legal certainty and standardization, this is a clear path to getting funding for research and paving the way to innovation.
STELIOS KYMPOUROPOULOS, Member of the European Parliament
We need to ensure a coherent approach with the other already existing pieces of legislation, especially on data protection. We need to invest a lot of resources in order to foster responsible AI innovation especially for SMEs but also for research and the public sector.
EUNIKA MERCIER-LAURENT, K4I Board Member, Chair TC12 (AI) at IFIP
The UN has set 17 goals on Sustainable Development and AI is here to help us.
ABEL HENRIOT, Hydrogeologist and Datascientist, BRGM
Delivering science-based knowledge is essential to support decision makers in the field of geosciences, but Data is (still) often a weakness in geosciences and AI methods are not straightforward. For that, pluridisciplinary teams are the key, while many fields remain unexplored.
DINO IENCO, Research Director, INRAE
The unprecedented amount of data currently acquired by Earth Observation (EO) missions has raised new challenges related to how effectively exploit such information richness for the global well-being. To this end, today, the analysis of big EO data for downstream tasks related to the achievement of SDGs through Machine Learning approaches is getting more and more attention.
MARCELINE DU PRIE, K4I President, Director EU TU Delft
Recent developments of AI increase the potential to help us solve many of the world’s most pressing problems, including climate change. To fully realise the potential of AI and in sustainability we also to consider the ethical and social implications of this technology.
DUŠAN CHRENEK, Principal Adviser DG CLIMA, European Commission
Solar Radiation Modification is not a solution, it does not address the root cause of the problem, which is the increase in greenhouse gases. Even if technically feasible and safe, it would provide only a temporary relief, not a cure.
PROF. HERMAN RUSSCHEMBERG, Pro Vice Rector Climate Action, Delft University of Technology
Even with the most ambitious climate policies, the Earth can get too warm. We might need climate engineering to temporarily cool the Earth and we better prepare ourselves for this scenario. Europe should be a leader and not leave this to others.
PROF. BEHNAM TAEBI, Full Professor of Energy & Climate Ethics, Delft University of Technology
We want basically to use engineering for a safer and more peaceful world and we want to frontload thinking about safety and security in our future technological development and engineering.
ROLAND STRAUSS, K4I Managing Director
In line with our new focus on “Innovation for Purpose – Innovations for Good” we support deep tech such as AI and other innovative solutions that can accelerate the green transition.