White Paper for Artificial Intelligence and Data Strategy
Europe has a long history of technological success and innovation, with a strong and world-class industry. The digital strategy that has been aimed connects all these points and puts them in context. The intention of the Commission is that digital transformation drives the community economy and offers European solutions in the digital age.
Artificial Intelligence can improve the daily lives of Europeans. Specifically, if we look at the health care sector, we know that we already use artificial intelligence for, for example, better diagnoses and offer earlier diagnoses. We know that this is crucial when it comes to, for example, cancer, or when we use robots for precision surgery. But Artificial Intelligence is also key when we want to reach goals such as being climate neutral in 2050. For example in precision agriculture, it allows us to reduce pesticides, allows us to reduce fertilizers.
Not only does AI improve daily lives, but Europe is already leading the AI. Europe has a privileged position and you should also be aware of that: Europe produces 25% of all industrial robots. But, of course, we are aware of the fact that things are moving so fast that we have to do more. And, therefore, we want to boost European Artificial Intelligence by attracting more than 20 billion euros per year, for the next decade.
Europe has a good advantage in the quality of the data we have, because Europe has a wide economic diversity with small and medium enterprises, what we call “Mittelstand”. The data that is collected daily in Europe is also very diverse and rich: industry data, commercial data, factory data, machines, cars, weather stations, you just have to name them. It is a fact that most of the data we collect today is not reused even once, and we know that this is not sustainable at all.
Therefore, Europe has to offer data spaces where not only data can be stored, but also shared with others, so that companies, governments and researchers can not only store their data, but also have access to other data They need for their innovation.
Questions and answers about the strategy
Why does the EU need a digital strategy?
Digital technologies greatly improve our lives, providing us with better access to knowledge and content, and providing us with a means to do business, communicate and buy goods and services. The EU must ensure that digital transformation works for the benefit of all, not just a few. Citizens should have the opportunity to prosper, choose freely, participate in society and, at the same time, feel safe online. Companies should benefit from a framework that allows them to start their journey, grow, share data, innovate and compete with large companies in fair conditions. Society must benefit from social and environmental sustainability, and a secure digital environment that respects privacy, dignity, integrity and other rights with full transparency.
What does the strategy say?
Over the next five years, the Commission will focus on three key objectives to promote technological solutions that help Europe continue its path towards a digital transformation that works for the benefit of people and respects our core values.
How will the EU fund proposals on artificial intelligence and data management?
The necessary investments will be channeled from the Europa Digital (PED) program, the “Connect Europe” 2 Mechanism and Horizon Europe. Beyond 2020, in the case of Horizon Europe, the Commission proposed to invest 15 billion euros in the “Digital world, industry and space” cluster, where AI is emerging as a key activity worthy of support.
How can technology support the European Green Pact?
Digital technologies are a key factor for the success of the European Green Pact, the new EU growth strategy to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. For example, they can increase energy efficiency by detecting when and where Electricity is more necessary. Smart heating could help us save the equivalent of six million tons of oil, and farmers will be able to use less pesticides and fertilizers thanks to data and AI. However, for digitalization to generate benefits, the ICT sector must undergo its own ecological transformation. Data centers and telecommunications will have to be more energy efficient and use more renewable energy sources, and become climate neutral by 2030.