The European Commission's AI4EU project (Artificial Intelligence for European Union) was officially launched today with a view to building the first European on-demand Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform and mobilising the entire European AI community. The project has a budget of 20 million euros. As project leader, Thales is coordinating platform roll-out and promoting collaboration within an active ecosystem extending far beyond the current membership of the project, which includes 79 organisations from 21 EU countries.
Through the AI4EU project, the European Commission is seeking to make AI promises real for European society by boosting Europe's technological and industrial capabilities, improving industrial competitiveness and progressively accelerating the adoption of AI in all sectors of the economy. The future platform will position Europe as a leading player on the world AI stage with a strong focus on ethical issues.
The project includes the creation of a Europe-wide ethics observatory to lead broad discussions and debate over the role of humans in an AI-enabled society, and to promote the development of explainable, verifiable AI.
The Thales Group has been chosen by the European Commission to coordinate overall project roll-out and, like all the other partners involved, will make world-class AI tools, components, modules, knowledge, algorithms and use cases available on the platform. Any member of the extensive European ICT (Information and Communications Technology) community will be able to use these elements directly, without requiring theoretical knowledge.
The community formed by the project will also provide practical assistance to help users — SMEs, start-ups, entrepreneurs, scientists, industrial companies, venture capital firms, etc. — to benefit from the platform.
The objective of this three-year project is to promote collaboration within the AI ecosystem in Europe to encourage stakeholders to share, use and create value from new solutions in strategic sectors of the European economy, including robotics, healthcare, media, agriculture, IoT and cybersecurity. It will also provide key inputs to help shape a strong and comprehensive strategic agenda for European AI.
Thales Chief Technology Officer Marko Erman said "We are very proud that the European Commission has placed its confidence in Thales to coordinate the AI4EU project, which will help Europe to build recognition as a player in the global race to develop the best digital technologies and AI in service of society."