European scientists, leaders, high-level experts, and the general public discussed the present and future of artificial intelligence in Europe.
On Thursday 22 April 2021, an important discussion on the present and future development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Europe, which involved key European scientists, leaders, high-level experts, and the general public, took place during the “European Vision for AI 2021” event, just a day after the European Commission published its European Approach to Artificial Intelligence. The event, organised by the VISION project consortium partners in cooperation with four networks of centres of excellence on AI (AI4Media, ELISE, TAILOR, HumanE-AI-Net), was motivated by the need to discuss with the general public how the European scientific community is currently planning to move European AI forward, to future success in a competitive environment increasingly dominated by the US and China.
The general public was able to follow the event online and was able to interact via chat and a number of polls. Participants also had the opportunity to choose from three parallel sessions focussing on society, industry and skills & training, depending on their particular interests. A diverse set of panelists, covering a broad range of stakeholders in AI, discussed how the new EU plans affect these areas of high public interest.
At the event, European citizens with an interest in AI had the chance to gain an overview of Europe’s position in the field of AI and to learn about its impact on Europe’s economy and society. Thus, “European Vision for AI 2021” represented the first opportunity for a public discussion on the world’s first legal framework on AI and the new Coordinated Plan with the Member States, announced by the European Commission the day before, following up on its vision for a European eco-system of excellence and trust in AI.
The round-table discussion provided a chance to react to the proposed regulation and action plan with Dita Charanzová, Vice-President of the European Parliament; Kristian Kersting, TU Darmstadt, Germany; Ieva Martinkenaite, VP AI, Telenor, Norway; and Gabriele Mazzini, DG CNECT, European Commission.
According to Ms. Charanzová the rules “are a good and positive step. We are now all digesting the proposal [..]. I welcome it very much but as I always say ‘the devil is in detail’. So we have to look at every detail of these regulations”. Ms. Charanzová pointed out that there already is legislation in place so the new regulation is about filling the gaps.
The need to coordinate efforts between research, industry, and society was also stressed by Ieva Martinkenaite: “We need to create best practices, positive examples for industry, involving policymakers, involving academia so that we learn how to apply these practices of trustworthy AI in business. It is not about creating compliance and regulations and directives. It’s about helping us to implement it”.
Kristian Kersting also stressed the importance of maintaining excellence in research through coordinated actions and the creation of large-scale infrastructure, through the creation of a “CERN for AI”.
AI4Media’s video was shown during the event and the project also participated in the parallel session dedicated to “Skills & Training: Education and personal development in AI” where AI4Media’s partner, Prof. Ioannis Pitas from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, was one of the speakers.
The recorded video of the “Skills & Training” session is available below:
All videos from the event are available at VISION’s website HERE