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The EuropeanAI Newsletter
Covering Artificial Intelligence in Europe

Welcome to the EuropeanAI Newsletter covering the European AI and technology ecosystem. If you want to catch up on the archives, they're available here.

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The Council of Europe has released a call for participants, looking for applicants who have close proximity to youth communities (i.e. youth workers and leaders) to participate in a training course on AI literacy for young people. The deadline for applications is the 13th of February. 

Meta threatens to seize operation of some of its applications in the EU due to EU data regulation requirements. 

The Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) committee has encouraged member states to build a roadmap for AI. Axel Voss is taking suggestions until the 14th of February.

An
update to the European start-up map for AI was presented at the Swedish Innovation Days. The map, which already included >500 start-ups from France, Germany and Sweden, has been expanded to include a further 127 from the Netherlands, with Norway to be included in a future iteration.

Policy, Strategy and Regulation

An EU Strategy on Standardisation

The European Commission has published ‘An EU Strategy on Standardisation’ to promote EU values, policy objectives and regulatory implementation. The communication describes how the current European standardisation system is moving too slowly, missing out on an early mover advantage, while many third countries are providing their industries with a competitive edge by taking a more assertive stance on standardisation. Further, a prevalent theme is the preservation of European sovereignty, with a need to avoid strategic dependencies. In section IV this theme is expanded, describing how other global regions have taken the lead in standardisation in areas such as facial recognition, digital twin, and others, leading to technological solutions which are incompatible with the EU’s values, policies and regulatory framework.

One area where the strategy suggests the EU may be able to take a lead, built upon pre-existing European programmes, is by describing how well-established pre-normative research (such as that from Horizon Europe) can be used to support standardisation research and anticipating standardisation needs.

The strategy identifies several strategic priority areas, which include technological areas such as the certification of chips (for security, authenticity, and reliability) and data standards (for interoperability, data sharing and re-use).

The next steps towards realising this strategy include;

  • Launch standardisation requests and engage with stakeholder communities
  • Found a new High-Level Forum to help set priorities and advise on future standardisation needs, coordinate, and represent European interests in standardisation for and ensure that European standardisation activities reflect European values
  • Launch a review into existing standards
  • Establish an EU excellence hub on standards, together with the creation of a Chief Standardisation Officer role
  • Establish clear targets to accelerate the development and implementation of standards in partnership with European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs).

Notes in the Margin: This is a relevant development in light of the AI Act. There, standards or parts thereof, if they exist and cover the relevant requirement specifications and are published in the Official Journal of the European Union, can be substituted for other mechanisms and measures that otherwise would have been taken to adhere to the requirements. That is, adherence to standards, or parts thereof, can encompass or replace adherence to requirements, where appropriate and suitable. Moreover, it is clear that governments internationally are recognising the importance of standard-setting for global competitiveness, with the UK notably establishing the AI Standards Hub (as described in this newsletter) which forms part of their National AI Strategy.

Ecosystem

UK announces CEO for the 'Advanced Research and Invention Agency'

Dr Peter Highnam has been appointed as CEO of the UK’s Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), having served as the Deputy Director of the US defence research agency DARPA since 2018. The announcement of ARIA was summarised in this newsletter, which describes how the agency modelled on those that have been successful in other countries, such as ARPA, the precursor to DARPA.

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Thales tipped to acquire Atos' defence business

Anonymous sources have informed Reuters that the French technology company Thales is planning to buy IT consultancy Atos’ cybersecurity business ‘BDS’. According to the source, BDS is valued at around €2-3bn, forming a significant proportion of Atos’ total market cap which sits at €4bn at the time of writing.
 

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Contact Charlotte Stix at:
www.charlottestix.com
@charlotte_stix


Ben Gilburt  co-wrote this edition. 
Interesting events, numbers or policy developments that should be included? Send an email!

Disclaimer: this newsletter is personal opinion only and does not represent the opinion of any organisation.

Copyright © Charlotte Stix, All rights reserved.
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