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Database Systems and Information Management GroupEU AIDA Hearing 2021

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„European Data Sovereignty is a critical success factor“

Prof. Dr. Volker Markl

Prof. Markl invited to speak on “Artificial Intelligence and Competitiveness” at EU Committee “AIDA”.

On March 23, 2021, 09:00-12:00 CET, the European Committee Artificial intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) organized a hearing on "AI and Competitiveness". AIDA is a standing committee, established by the European Parliament to analyze the future impact of artificial intelligence in the digital age on the EU economy.

The event adressed the following questions: What are the choices for regulatory frameworks to enabling the potential of AI solutions for increasing EU enterprises competitiveness?; How to build a competitive and innovative AI sector?; What are the EU enterprises challenges in entering AI markets, by developing and adopting competitive AI solutions?

BIFOLD Co-Director Prof. Dr. Volker Markl was invited to give an initial intervention for the second panel on “How to build a competitive and innovative AI sector? What are EU enterprises challenges in entering AI markets, by developing and adopting competitive AI solutions?" 

Prof. Markl has been actively promoting European Data Sovereignty and a data analysis infrastructure for years. For the AIDA hearing, he strengthend three key aspects:

1. “Most of the novel AI applications today are due to advances in machine learning (ML) and big data (BD) systems and technologies. Due to international competition, the EU needs to make massive investments in research to develop next generation ML methods and BD systems as well as in education to train our workforce in their use. In particular, we need to provide basic training in data literacy and computer science competencies, such as data programming, data management, and data intensive algorithms. These subjects need to be taught throughout our educational studies (from elementary education, through middle and high-school and beyond at universities, across all academic study programs).”

2. “Data is the new production factor for our economy. Europe needs to be competitive. We need an independent, technical infrastructure and ecosystem that will enable us to create, share and use both data and algorithms as well as storage and compute resources in an open and inclusive way – moving beyond North American and Chinese solutions. If Europe intends to shape the future of the digital world through its industry, we have to: (i) maintain digital sovereignty in AI, (ii) retain technical talent, (iii) facilitate data-driven business opportunities and citizen science and (iv) compete globally.”

3.“Member states need to bootstrap and create demand for such an ecosystem by enabling a holistic European solution. We must go beyond data exchange and multi-cloud considerations, like GAIA-X, but rather be centered around the development of an easy-to-use, integrated single platform to store data, host algorithms, and perform processing. The creation of such an ecosystem should avoid the complexity and cacophony of too many stakeholders. Instead, it should be developed by a single institution with a clear vision, mission and objectives. It should leverage economies of scale, follow software-hardware co-design principles, and take recent technological advances in networking, distributed systems, data management, and machine learning into consideration. Moreover, it should enable EU startups, companies, and EU citizens to share data and algorithms as well as compose, process, and offer AI applications in open and protected spaces.”

The hearing will be publicly available via webstream. More information is available at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/aida-hearing-on-ai-and-competitiveness/product-details/20210210CAN59709.

Prof. Markl also discussed the topics of data infrastructure and European data sovereignty in an interview with German newspaper "Der Tagesspiegel".


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