Seizing the AI opportunity in Europe

AI has the potential to significantly impact scientific discovery and work in various fields, including sustainability, food security, and neglected diseases. The exponential increase in computing power devoted to AI is already turbocharging scientific progress, as demonstrated by DeepMind’s AlphaFold discovering the shapes of nearly every known protein. This breakthrough has accelerated drug discovery and personalized medicine, saving millions of hours of scientific progress. The use of AI in various areas, such as nuclear fusion, sustainability, clean water, and precision agriculture, has the potential to be transformative and productive for society. In addition, generative AI could increase the size of the EU economy by €1.2 trillion and save the average worker over 70 hours a year. Countries that are able to deploy and innovate with AI at scale are likely to lead in competitiveness.

However, seizing the potential of AI requires new legal and policy frameworks that nurture AI talent, promote responsible AI innovation, and provide access to new markets and investment. It is important to strike a balance between innovation and regulation, holding actors responsible for violating public trust while not micromanaging progress. The focus should be on establishing the best AI regulations, rather than the first, and on making hard trade-offs between security and openness, data access and privacy, and explainability and accuracy. There is a need for widespread regulatory expertise and proportionate, risk-based rules that build on existing regulations and give businesses confidence to keep investing in AI innovation.

While there are real challenges ahead, progress is being made in addressing issues such as misinformation, discrimination, and the future of work. AI has the potential to address social challenges and solve problems, as well as promote European and democratic geopolitical influence and competitive advantage. Governments, including Singapore, the UK, the US, and the EU, are stepping up with initiatives and regulations to harness the potential of AI. It is essential for each country and region to develop a digital strategy that goes beyond cyber-strategy to succeed and maximize opportunity.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to significantly impact scientific discovery and work in various fields, as well as promote productivity and competitiveness. Seizing this potential requires new legal and policy frameworks that balance innovation and regulation and a globally collaborative effort to build bold and responsible AI tools that benefit everyone.

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