The European Commission has just published two documents that should forever change its approach to Artificial Intelligence and data management. These are the European Data Strategy and the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence. With them, the European Union faces pressing problems such as talent drain, underfunding and, above all, the lack of an adequate regulatory framework for these matters.
To this end, it plans to create a single market for personal data, which is nothing more than the translation to digital of a model that already exists, and works, in analog. This market would allow, for example, the sharing of information in such a sensitive area as health, but also in others such as transportation or justice, always with the consent of citizens.
It also proposes the articulation of a European market for cloud services, and suggests public-private partnerships because in the end it is necessary for companies to lend or pool their data within the EU to make a common pool that can compete in the market.
And it is in collaboration that much of the success lies, something that has already been experienced in sectors such as aeronautics. Airbus Industrie started as a European aviation consortium to compete with U.S. companies such as Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed. It is now the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer.
Although many European aircraft were innovative, even the most successful were underproduced. In 1991, Jean Pierson, then CEO and managing director of Airbus Industrie, described several factors that explained the dominant position of U.S. aircraft producers: the size of the United States made air travel the preferred mode of travel; a 1942 Anglo-American agreement entrusted the production of transport aircraft to the United States; and that World War II had bequeathed to the United States a powerful and structured aircraft industry.
European aircraft manufacturers were aware of the risks of such a development and began to accept, along with their governments, that collaboration was necessary for the development of such an aircraft and to compete with the more powerful U.S. manufacturers.
There seems to be no doubt about the need for collaboration to make progress in areas such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection. But what do these documents really mean and what solutions do they provide?
The European Data Strategy concludes that the EU faces these 8 problems:
- Data availability
- Market power imbalances
- Interoperability and data quality
- Data Governance
- Data infrastructure and technologies
- Empowerment of individuals to exercise their rights.
- Data skills and knowledge
To solve them, he proposes the creation of a single data market that focuses on 4 main actions.
The first of these is the creation of a new legislative framework. Through various laws and legislative measures, which will arrive between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, it aims to open up public sector reference data and encourage horizontal data sharing across sectors.
The second solution involves investments. Between 4 and 6 billion euros will be allocated to strengthen infrastructures, data sharing tools and artificial intelligence ecosystems.
The third strategy focuses on education. Funds will be added to expand the digital talent pool to some 250,000 people who will be able to deploy the latest technologies in companies across the EU. By 2025, the goal is to bridge the gap of one million digital specialists, with a special focus on women.
The goal is to increase the proportion of the EU population with basic digital skills from 57% today to 65% by 2025.
Finally, the fourth line of action will focus on the development of an analytical framework . Its purpose is to provide tools for the continuous analysis of data flows and the economic development of the data processing sector.