The EU pursues a digital strategy based on our fruitful history in terms of technology, innovation and ingenuity and anchored in the European values that it projects on the international scene. The White Paper on artificial intelligence (AI) and the European data strategy presented today show that Europe can set global standards for technological development, giving priority to people.
President von der Leyen presented a few days ago the digital strategy of the Commission and in her speech she highlighted:
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 at connecting all these points and putting 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 our 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. The EU is aware of the fact that things are moving so fast that we have to do more. 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.
The EU is pursuing a digital strategy that builds on our successful history of technology, innovation and ingenuity, vested in European values, and projecting them onto the international stage. The White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the European data strategy presented today show that Europe can set global standards on technological development while putting people first.
Questions and answers
Europe as the global leader of the digital transformation
Digital technologies considerably improve our lives, from better access to knowledge and content to how we do business, communicate or buy goods and services. The EU must ensure that the digital transformation works for the benefit of all people, not just a few. Citizens should have the opportunity to flourish, choose freely, engage in society and at the same time feel safe online. Businesses should benefit from a framework that allows them to start up, scale up, pool data, innovate and compete with large companies on fair terms. Society should benefit from social and environmental sustainability, and a secure digital environment that respects privacy, dignity, integrity and other rights in 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 will help Europe pursue its own way towards a digital transformation that works for the benefit of people and respects our fundamental values
How will the EU fund the proposals on AI and data?
The required investments will be channelled from the Digital Europe programme (DEP), the Connecting Europe Facility 2 and Horizon Europe. For Horizon Europe, the Commission proposed to invest €15 billion in the ‘Digital, Industry and Space’ cluster, with AI as a key activity to be supported. As part of DEP, the European Commission proposed to invest almost €2.5 billion in deploying data platforms and AI applications.
How can technology support the European Green Deal?
Digital technologies are a critical enabler for the Green Deal, the EU’s new growth strategy to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. For example, they can increase energy efficiency by tracking when and where electricity is most needed. Smart heating could help us save the equivalent of 6 million tonnes of oil, and farmers will be able to use fewer pesticides and fertilisers thanks to data and AI.