EnliteAI Project - Presenting Vienna's AI Strategy in Brussels

Four months after publishing the AI Strategy of the City of Vienna in Alpbach, we were invitied by Věra Jourová, the EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency, to talk about our learnings and insights on AI in the public sector.
Posted on
December 13, 2019

AI is a priority topic for the EU commission

It is our special honor to present a special project we have been working on: The municipal AI strategy for the city of Vienna.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has defined Artificial Intelligence as a central European field of action - from regulation and ethical standards to a sustainable investment policy.

On that note, Věra Jourová presented the new EU Commission's approach to Artificial Intelligence. The initial goal of the approach is to optimize investment activities in order to make existing funding instruments more efficient. Additionally, the focus is set on keeping talents and researchers in the EU as well as increasing the attractiveness of the EU as an AI location in order to attract international talent.

In order to create a suitable framework for the use of AIs, criteria for safe and reliable AI systems based on ethical principles will be developed within the first 100 days of the new administration of the EU Commission under the direction of Ursula von der Leyen.

„We don’t use 85% of our data, which might have a use“

According to Věra Jourová, this approach is particularly necessary as AI is a special technology with far-reaching economic and social impacts. The concrete goals mentioned were the establishment of 8 EU-wide AI research institutes and an annual investment volume of 20 billion euros in the form of public-private partnerships by 2025.

Czech AI

Karel Havlíček, Deputy Prime Minister for Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, presented the key points of the Czech AI strategy:
The initial goal is to set up 2 "AI Super Hubs" with a focus on safety & reliability as well as robotics & automation. It is important to create a positive narrative for the country: Instead of the previous "Czech, land of stories" to "land of the future". Deputy Prime Minister Havlíček repeatedly stressed that a national AI strategy can only be successful if it is implemented in close coordination with partners at EU level and at local level together with cities and countries.

Vienna as front runner in municipal AI

Vienna, as one of the first cities in Europe and the first municipality in Austria to develop its own AI strategy, was also invited that evening to share impressions with representatives from the EU Commission and Parliament.

Our CEO, Clemens Wasner, presented how the team around Ms Huemer, the CIO of Vienna, developed the AI strategy. From the participatory involvement of citizens to the identification and selection of use cases and the first experiences from successful AI implementation projects such as WienBot, WAALTeR and "Wien gibt Raum".

In particular, the citizen-focused approach was emphasized, which, in strict compliance with data protection and ethical guidelines, is characterized above all by the fact that services are continuously improved in their quality and speed in order to allow as many citizens as possible to participate in the benefits of AI.

Prague AI

The Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, seamlessly continued this presentation and also advocated close coordination between nations and cities. He particularly emphasised the role of non-profit organisations such as Prague AI, which are necessary to ensure the involvement of the community and the people. Prague AI's goals until 2025 are very ambitious: 5,000 AI engineers, 500 AI researchers, 500 graduates per year and 50 AI startups should be located in Prague.

The top-class panel discussion was attended by Vojtěch Petráček, Rector of the Czech Technical University of Prague, Petr Očko, Vice Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr. Panteleïmon Panagiotou from the Bavarian Research Alliance, Maxime Brivois from the Prague-based startup ALEEGO and Clemens Wasner from EnliteAI representing the City of Vienna.

The full strategy paper can be downloaded here.

Photos & Text by Clemens Wasner, EnliteAI.

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