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Artificial Intelligence – if you like or not – and why Europe is lagging behind

AI is the new electricity,” Andrew Ng announced. He is the adjunct Stanford professor that founded the Google Brain Deep Learning Project and also is one of the co-founders of Coursera. Since AI already is making an impact on everyday life and we are now approaching the end of the beginning. To use Andrew Ng’s words again: “About 100 years ago, electricity transformed every major industry. AI has advanced to the point where it has the power to transform every major sector in coming years.” In this spirit, the development of artificial intelligence is taking a leap from having been mono-dimensional to become multi-dimensional, which in this case e.g. means the ability to adapt to changes.

So what can we expect of this digital society with robots, self-driving cars, virtual assistants including translators and for education, shopping experience with AI leading the way and on and on the story goes about the transformation? But while the US and Asia are taking the lead in the development, Europe is lagging behind. Since investment in AI only is about half the investment as in China and a third of the investment in the US. To some extent, this depends on the fact that Europe to a large extent lack tech giants within the field, but also that EU single market still is an archaic playground to grow business within. The necessary reforms are still met by nationalism from some member states.

The consequences are that Europe will be lagging behind within fields like defence, economic development and how to put AI in the service of humans. However, the European Commission will publish an AI strategy paper on April 24, we will see where we are going from that point. However, Bruno Maçães, a former Europe minister for Portugal, that has read the draft writes in Politico: “In a 14-page document, only two pages are devoted to ways of boosting Europe’s AI capacity.”

But then, where do the investments go where the development of artificial intelligence actually is making progress? According to a story on World Economic Forum website, machine learning, in other words developing the brain of AI received 56% of the funding worldwide, while computer vision got 28%, and natural language, autonomous vehicles and virtual assistants received between 6-7% each. But at the same time, only 20% of the businesses globally have adopted AI in some areas so far. The interest is growing.

Written by
LarsGoran Bostrom©

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