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Blockchain and AI key areas for European Commission ‘Digital Day’

David Bicknell Published 09 April 2018

Discussions in Brussels tomorrow will include dialogue on AI ahead of a forthcoming European initiative and the creation of a European Public Blockchain Partnership


The European Commission will tomorrow host a “Digital Day” to discuss European technological development and co-operation in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and digital health. 

The day, being held in Brussels, will try and foresee what the digital future of Europe will look like, and aim to reach joint commitments in order to encourage investment in European digital technologies and infrastructures. It believes that a “digitally strong EU will contribute to a competitive and socially secure society, better public services and security.”

On AI, the Commission is shortly expected to shortly publish a comprehensive European initiative on this month. According to the agenda for the digital day, in preparation for the launch of the initiative, the Commission feels it is time to bring EU member states and key stakeholders together to engage in a “strategic dialogue on artificial intelligence” to discuss how to harness the opportunities arising from the technology.

The goal of the Digital Day session will be to secure commitments from EU Member States governments and key stakeholders from industry, academia and civil society to support the European initiative on Artificial Intelligence, and in particular to engage in the European AI Alliance, a broad community of all relevant stakeholders including from industry, academia and civil society. EU member states will also be asked to set-up a Sherpa process to discuss the further implementation of the European AI initiative.

On blockchain, the Commission describes it as “one of the key emerging technological trends and a major opportunity for Europe.” It says blockchain technology introduces new paradigms and enables basic services that correspond to the needs of collaborative models and cross border services to be established in Europe. It is also starting to consider European blockchain infrastructure.

“This session will discuss how we can ensure that Europe seizes all the opportunities offered by a transformative blockchain ecosystem, building on existing leading initiatives, pooling forces and collaborating further on specific actions towards a European Blockchain Infrastructure for services of public interest.” The session will close with a signing ceremony on a declaration of a "Cooperation on a European Public Blockchain Partnership."

Another session on the digitial day will be about joining forces and data to personalise healthcare. The session is organised around a commitment to join genomic databanks on an EU level for even more successful research collaborations. A further session will also discuss ongoing European Union commitment to digital innovation, and the results of investments made by the EU and its member states in the field of digital technologies.

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