Vestager touts AI-powered vision for Europes tech future

Europe may never produce a rival to Facebook, but it still has a chance of outpacing rivals in Silicon Valley or Shenzhen thanks to a coming wave of artificial intelligence powered by industrial data, according to the blocs digital czar Margrethe Vestager.

The vision for Europes “second chance” on tech relies on leveraging vast troves of data produced by industrial giants like Volkswagen, Engie or Nokia — and making better use of it than competitors in the United States or China.

“One of the reasons why we dont have a Facebook and we dont have a Tencent is that we never gave European businesses a full single market where they could scale up,” Vestager told reporters ahead of the publication of the European Commissions white paper on artificial intelligence and a new data strategy on February 19.

“Now when we have a second go, the least we can do is to make sure that you have a real single market,” she added.

As POLITICO first reported on January 29, the EUs executive arm wants to create a single market for data. The strategy relies on the notion of “data spaces” — or infrastructure for large pools of data that can be shared between sectors and companies, and improves access to European cloud providers.

To develop its vision of industrial data pools, the Commission is eyeing an investment of up to €6 billion that would be raised together with member countries and industry, according to a recent draft of the data strategy, obtained by POLITICO.

“If this is to be successful then we should not put our business-to-business AI in the same position as our business-to-consumer technology, having no single market,” Vestager said.

Europe wants to become the go-to place for high-quality data for artificial intelligence.

The need for a data strategy comes from the fact that “we are what we eat” when it comes to the data that feeds artificial intelligence, Vestager said. “If you eat crappy stuff, youre not likely to be a fit-for-purpose algorithm,” she said.

Ensuring that the data feeding artificial intelligence applications is up to par and shared freely will allow Europe to develop the kind of technology that will help it take on America and China.

But the package that will be unveiled on Wednesday will only be part of a larger puzzle in Europes quest to create prosperity through digitalization, Vestager said.

The Danish politician, who also has oversight of the blocs competition enforcement, emphasized that innovation must not come at the expense of European values and must benefit its citizens and democracRead More – Source

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