EU unveils plan to compete with GAFAM on AI and Big Data

The European Union intends to catch up with the United States and China in the field of Big Data and artificial intelligence. In order to enable European GAFAMs to emerge, the European Commission today unveils its strategic plan for the next ten years.

At present, the European Union is lagging far behind China and the United States in the areas of AI and Big Data. This the two superpowers benefit greatly from the delayThis is the first time that the data of citizens from the 27 Member States has been so readily available to companies.

This data allow giants like Google and Facebook to flourish.This will enable companies to develop data-driven services such as social networks, e-commerce platforms or artificial intelligence systems.

However, the EU has decided to say “stop.” . At a press conference on Wednesday 19 February 2020, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled Brussels’ ambitious plan to finally bring the old continent into the digital age.

According to its own words, the objective of this strategy is to enable “the digital transformation to fuel our economy and find European solutions for the digital age”. . Several measures aimed at enabling the bloc to gain technological sovereignty have therefore been unveiled.

The EU wants a European data market so that our tech giants can compete with GAFAMs

In the field of Big Data, the Commission would firstly like to create a “single European data market” by 2030. To this end, it intends to promote the free movement of data within the Union.

This way, European companies in turn will be able to exploit the vast volumes of data which has allowed American giants such as Google and Amazon to surpass 1 trillion in market capitalization.

In this way, more Data-Driven companies will be able to be created. The European technology giants, for their part, could expand to finally compete with the American GAFAM and Chinese titans like Alibaba and Tencent.

A framework to govern data access, governance and reuse across enterprises will therefore be developed for encourage data sharing while respecting “European values and rights such as data protection and fair competition”.

In order to stimulate innovation, public sector data will also be made available via the opening of “high-value data sets”. that can be reused. To this end, the EU will also invest in Cloud infrastructures capable of supporting this increased reuse of data.

The Commission intends to 4 to 6 billion euros of investment for Cloud infrastructure secure and environmentally friendly and systems that allow the re-use of European data. Specific actions will be implemented to develop European data spaces focusing on specific sectors such as industrial manufacturing, health, ecology or transport.

The European Union wants to attract 20 billion euros per year to AI, while ensuring its ethics.

As far as artificial intelligence is concerned, the Commission intends to stimulate the development of this technology of the future in Europe. To achieve this, it aims to attract more than 20 billion euros of investment per year over the next ten years.

Nevertheless, in order to avoid abuses associated with “high-risk” AI systems. such as facial recognition, the EU intends to require that these systems be “transparent, traceable, and supervised by humans”. In addition, unbiased data will have to be used to train these systems so that they “function properly and ensure respect for fundamental rights such as non-discrimination”.

From consumer rules will also be put in place so that the authorities can “test and certify” the data used by the algorithms. The Commission also foresees a “wide-ranging debate” on the circumstances in which biometric identification methods can be justified. It should be remembered that the EU was recently considering banning facial recognition…

A governance structure at European level will ensure a framework for compliance with the rules and avoid fragmentation within the bloc. The EU therefore wishes to encourage the development of AI, while taking care to guard against the potential risks associated with this revolutionary technology.

The full EU strategy for Big Data can be found at this address. The White Paper on Artificial Intelligence is available at this address.

The The finalised strategy should be published by the end of 2020.. For the time being, the Commission intends to gather feedback on its plan through a public consultation. In this context, European citizens are invited to put their questions to Margrethe Vestager in a live Q&A on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on 20 February 2020 at 17:45.

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