Artificial Intelligence for Europe

Artificial Intelligence for Europe

Imagine governments using artificial intelligence to help officials draft responses to queries submitted to the parliament. It’s not just a scene from Blade Runner or Iron Man anymore; it’s already a reality in Japan. The question is: whether we choose to seize the opportunity and take the lead or not?

 

From fictional golden robots to 4th industrial revolution

But first, I invite you to explore the past and go back to where everything has started. It’s possible that the idea of a robot itself was developed in stories or even by political theories many years ago.

Ancient Greeks had a myth about golden robots. Similar visual appearances continued during the medieval ages in mystical stories and were developed until today. Some philosophers also spotted similarities to political theories, which portrayed a person as a machine.

The idea of an intelligent machine started to become a reality in the 1940s with the first digital computer. Interest in AI, as a software that augments knowledge-based work done by humans, has boomed in the last 15 years with declining computing costs, and the access to Big Data, which is data of a high volume, velocity, and variety, that the internet made easier to collect.

Artificial Intelligence can broadly be defined into two categories: General and Narrow. General AI is an independently thinking machine that is capable of replicating human-level (or greater) thought. While science fiction mostly focuses on this type of AI, and much research and hype surrounds it, no General AI is likely to exist in the near future. Today, we have Narrow AI, in which techniques such as Deep Learning allow programs to perform specific tasks at or above human level.

 

Technological revolutions need to be lead by EU

AI has become one of the most promising technological improvements in the 21st century. It might bring new and unseen challenges as we stand on the brink of the 4th industrial revolution that looks to fundamentally transform our lives. The situation forces us to pay special attention from the EU level in order to harness these opportunities, encourage innovation, productivity, and global competitiveness. The EU needs to lead this discussion.

Current development of AI could benefit both public and private sectors by raising efficiency, providing enhanced quality of services, bringing new innovative solutions in fields such as public transport, medical care and education to various private initiatives, businesses.

The automation of rote tasks has the potential to liberate people from less fulfilling work, and allow more time to be focussed on more productive or more creative enterprises.

Due to implementation of technologies, labor market will change and this shows the need to consider the future of education, employment, and social policies accordingly.

 

What actions should be taken?

Scientist S. Hawking once said “Success in creating effective AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst.” But today, have time to shape the future for ourselves. I propose 4 political actions.

First of all, EU should write a proper strategy on AI and robotics in order to ensure global leadership and sustainable development.

Secondly, there is a need to fulfill the demand of constructive dialogue on the EU level and ensure inclusion of all interest groups. Quadripartite AI and Robotics Advisory Council on EU level should be founded, where governmental representatives, scientists, businesses and non-governmental organizations could agree on certain policy and propose recommendations.

Thirdly, cooperation with universities and research centers should be consolidated and reinforced addressing the issue of technologies. AI and Robotics Agency on EU level could also be established. It would prepare potential policies in the fields of technology, human rights, and ethics, cooperate.

Fourthly, Europe requires to create and promote an open environment, formulate open standards and innovative licensing models for initiatives related to AI and robotics.

 

Deimantė Rimkutė

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April 03 2018

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