Computer: Court of Auditors: EU cannot keep up with AI investments

Computer: Court of Auditors: EU cannot keep up with AI investments

AI is considered a key technology of the future. Is the EU doing enough in this area to avoid falling behind?

According to the European Court of Auditors, the EU has not been able to keep up with the world’s leading players in terms of investments in artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years. “The EU’s AI investments increased steadily between 2018 and 2020,” says a report by the Luxembourg authority.

Nevertheless, the AI ​​investment gap between the US and the EU, which affects both the public and private sectors, is estimated to have more than doubled during this period. “The EU is more than 10 billion euros behind,” according to the Court of Auditors. Government agencies and private companies have therefore invested significantly more money in the US.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also showed that the EU continued to perform worse than the US and China in terms of venture capital investments in AI in 2021 and 2022, the Court of Auditors said.

AI investments from the EU budget have reportedly increased. A spokesperson for the EU Commission stressed that more than one billion euros per year are already being invested in AI research projects. However, according to the Court of Auditors, EU funds only make up a small part of the union’s total public and private investments in AI.

Auditor: EU investment targets are outdated

According to the Court of Auditors, a lack of ambition in the investment targets “contradicts the goal of building a globally competitive AI ecosystem”. The EU’s investment targets have remained unchanged since 2018 and are therefore outdated. While the union had aimed for public and private investments in AI of 20 billion euros for the entire period from 2018 to 2020, according to the authority, such a contribution was planned every year for the following ten years.

The Court of Auditors considers it important to invest money in artificial intelligence. “Large and targeted investments in AI will have a decisive impact on economic growth in the EU in the coming years,” stressed the member of the Court of Auditors responsible for the audit, Mihails Kozlovs.

The proportion of companies using AI varies greatly depending on the member state. “France and Germany have announced the largest public AI investments, while four countries still do not have AI strategies,” the Court of Auditors explained. It is important to agree with the member states how their investments will contribute to achieving EU goals.

Source: Stern

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