EU Calls For €20bn Artificial Intelligence Cash Injection

The European Commission has called for a 20 billion euro (£17bn) investment in artificial intelligence across the European Union in order to catch up with Chinese and US research in the area and to avoid losing top talent to other parts of the world.

The Commission said it would increase its investment by about 70 percent to 1.5bn euros by 2020, and wants total public and private investment to reach 20bn euros by the end of that year.

The body said it expects its investment to trigger an additional 2.5bn euros from existing public-private partnerships in related areas such as big data analytics and robotics.

In 2016 European private investments in AI totalled around 2.4bn to 3.2bn euros, compared to 10bn euros in Asia and 18bn euros in the US.

AI investment

France and Britain have both also made AI investments a priority, with AI one of the key aspects of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy.

Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, promised 1.5bn euros of public funds for AI last month. France is already a major centre for AI research.

“Just as the steam engine and electricity did in the past, AI is transforming our world,” said Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip. “Today, we are giving a boost to researchers so that they can develop the next generation of AI technologies and applications, and to companies, so that they can embrace and incorporate them.”

The Commission wants to target areas including healthcare, transport and agriculture, and proposed legislation that would open up public-sector data for use by AI companies. The data could come from bodies in transport, utilities and other sectors.

It said it would appoint a committee to draw up ethical guidelines on AI with experts from business, academia and civil society. The group is to meet by July to consider questions around AI’s impact on work, social inclusion and privacy.

The EU has proposed a Europe-wide AI institute called the European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems (Ellis), with centres in countries across Europe, including in the UK.

Britain is one of 24 European countries that signed a declaration earlier this month in support of a pan-European approach to AI research.

The declaration said artificial intelligence can help with issues including sustainable healthcare, climate change, cybersecurity and migration.

Put your knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) to the test. Try our quiz!

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

BNP Paribas Joins JP Morgan Blockchain Trading Network

French bank BNP Paribas becomes first European bank to join JP Morgan's blockchain-based Onyx Digital…

4 hours ago

SEC Held Off Elon Musk Enforcement ‘Due To Court Fears’

US securities regulators may have refrained from enforcement actions against Elon Musk due to discouraging…

5 hours ago

Snap Earnings Warning Triggers Tech Sell-Off

Investors spooked after Snap warns of deteriorating economic conditions, says earnings now 'below the low…

6 hours ago

Russian Operator Discounts Smartphones As Sanctions Bite

Biggest Russian mobile operator MTS begins selling discounted and second-hand smartphones as Russians hit by…

7 hours ago

Clearview AI Fined £7.5m Over Facial Recognition Data

UK Information Commissioner's Office orders controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI to delete data it…

8 hours ago

Airbnb To Pull Out Of China Amidst ‘Pandemic Challenges’

Airbnb to pull out of China as ongoing zero-Covid policy places severe restrictions on domestic…

9 hours ago