European Action for Artificial Intelligence

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600 Experts in Artificial Intelligence sign a Letter Calling for European Action

600 leading experts in artificial intelligence released a letter calling on European and national leaders to drastically ramp up their support for research excellence and innovation in artificial intelligence (AI). They argue that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the way we live and work in the future, and they call for the development of artificial intelligence that complements, rather than replaces, human intelligence.
Among the signatories are top researchers from 20 European countries, from all areas of AI, including many editors of top scientific AI journals, leaders of national AI societies, heads of top research AI institutes, and other top scientists. Starting immediately, additional supporters can sign the letter electronically at ​claire-ai.org​.

In their letter, the experts argue that research on artificial intelligence is of crucial importance for Europe’s future. “We live in a knowledge-driven world​”, says Holger Hoos, Professor of Machine Learning at Leiden University and one of the initiators of the letter. “Knowledge and smartness are the most valuable resources in any society. Hence, investing in research and education is smart. Investing in research and education in artificial intelligence is doubly smart: It gives intelligent people ​and​ machines.”

The USA and China, even Canada, are investing substantially. Last year, China announced a program aimed at achieving world dominance in all areas of artificial intelligence technologies by 2030. On 10 April 2018, 25 European countries signed a pledge to increase funding and coordination of AI research, and two weeks later, the European commission published initial plans to fund AI research and innovation with about 20 billion Euros.

“This investment is enormously important for Europe”​, says Prof. Slusallek, scientific director at the Germany Research center for AI (DFKI), the world’s largest AI research centre. “But let us be smart about how we use it. We, who have signed this letter, feel it is necessary to invest in research excellence in all areas of artificial intelligence, across all of Europe.” The initiative calls for the establishment of a Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe (CLAIRE). A large central hub provides the experimental, data, and computing resources that would otherwise be unattainable and provides them to strong regional centers of excellence and all other partners.

“Industry in many European countries is very well positioned to deploy AI technology”, ​says Morten Irgens, Vice Rector at Oslo Metropolitan University. “The question is whether that should be technology developed elsewhere, or AI “made in Europe”, strongly based on European values, such as transparency, fairness, social compatibility.”

See full press release.