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EU Lays Out Path to A.I.

The European Union said the public and private sectors must invest at least 20 billion euros in artificial intelligence by 2020, part of a three-pronged approach to boosting investment in the technology, and come up with ethical and legal frameworks by the end of this year.

The EU is putting some of its money where its mouth is, saying it will invest 1.5 billion euros of that by 2020, which leaves the majority of investment to the private sector.

"Just as the steam engine and electricity did in the past, A.I. is transforming our world," said Andrus Ansip, VP for the Digital Single Market. "It presents new challenges that Europe should meet together in order for A.I. to succeed and work for everyone."

As to the ethical and legal parts, the EU will come up with ethical guidelines by the end of the year, including on data protection and transparency. It will also come up with guidance on the legal ramifications of defective products.

“Artificial intelligence will revolutionize society in ways we have not seen before," said tech trade group ITI. "Unlike technologies before it, A.I. will transform society horizontally – impacting every industry at the same time. We applaud the Commission’s proactive proposal to prepare the region for this emerging technology. As both policy and technology develop in parallel, we will continue working to ensure the responsible design and deployment of A.I. systems. We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission to ensure a balanced policy approach to A.I., which promotes innovation while mitigating any unintended consequences.”