2022 . 06 . 27

Why and how to use the European AI-on-demand platform

According to its own website, the European AI-on-demand platform is a one-stop shop for anyone looking for AI knowledge, technology, tools, services and experts. Its establishment is one of the main results of the AI4EU project, which was funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 initiative. The ultimate goal of this platform is to contribute to European sovereignty with respect to data and technology in the field of AI.
In this article, we provide an overview of the many different facets of the AI-on-demand platform, which reflects the diverse and colourful European AI landscape.

Since the end of AI4EU in December 2021, the AI-on-demand platform is now driven by the European AI community and the many follow-up projects of AI4EU within the European research initiatives ICT-48 and ICT-49. For example, the AI4EU Technical Governance Board (TGB) is currently managed by AI4Media which belongs to ICT-48. More on the background of AI4EU and the specific contributions of AI4Media to the AI-on-demand platform can be found in an article in the previous AI4Media newsletter.

The main entry point to all facets of the AI-on-demand platform is the website www.ai4europe.eu, while the platform itself does not only comprise this website but rather consists of the underlying virtual network and the activities of the involved parties. There are currently (May 2022) eleven contributing projects listed on the website, as well as more than one hundred organisations ranging from companies to research institutes and universities. Of course, the organisations and projects are linked to each other so that one can easily see who participates in which projects.

Going further, the AI-on-demand platform is also the home of several working groups such as the Working Group for Ontology just to mention one of them. The Observatory on Society and Artificial Intelligence (OSAI) is another example of cross-project collaboration on the platform. It is planned that the ethics section will also include policy recommendations for specific areas such as the media sector, based on the results of the corresponding tasks and work packages of AI4Media.

On the website, one may also find dedicated sections with news and events regarding the platform and the contributing projects. In this context, it is worth mentioning the AI4EU Web Cafés, a series of live webinars on AI. Since the end of AI4EU, this exceptionally successful format is being continued as AI Cafés under the umbrella of AI4Media. Recordings of past cafés are also available on YouTube and GoToStage.

One of the core parts of the AI-on-demand platform is the AI Catalogue which currently (May 2022) lists about 150 AI assets of various types: services, datasets, Docker containers, executables, Jupyter notebooks, libraries, machine learning models and tutorials. These assets are linked to the contributing projects and organisations. While the AI Catalogue is simply a list of items that do not necessarily implement common interfaces, some of these assets have also been technically integrated into AI4EU Experiments which can be seen as the technical part of the AI-on-demand platform. AI4EU Experiments is an interesting topic on its own and will be discussed in one of the next AI4Media newsletters.

Not all facets of the AI-on-demand platform have been touched on in this article, and new ones might emerge as the platform develops, so it is worthwhile to check out the website from time to time.

Contributions to the AI-on-demand platform are welcome and can be submitted by anyone. For publishing content such as AI assets, news, or events in the already existing sections, it is sufficient to have an EU login. With this, you may log in to the AI4EU website and submit your content for review. Once it has passed the review process, it will be published in the respective section. New sections and features can be added to the platform upon request which will be discussed in the TGB.

Starting in July 2022, the AI-on-demand platform will find its new home in the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) AI4Europe. Therefore, the sustainability of the AI-on-demand platform is ensured for the years to come, and it will thus be able to continue its substantial contributions to the European sovereignty with respect to data and technology in the field of AI.

Author: Andreas Steenpass, (Fraunhofer IAIS)