Artificial Intelligence (AI) is crucial for European countries for keeping up with the rest of the world in terms of digitization and innovation. That’s why an umbrella organization for this subject that is active in several states is important. The European AI Forum (EAIF) is an initiative launched in June 2020 and turned into a network of AI associations that want to make sure startups and innovators in EU member states have a voice. Overall the EAIF represents more than 2000 European AI companies and organisations. The main mission is to set the agenda on how AI is approached in Europe, both in terms of policy and entrepreneurship.
Flagship conference brings players together
The EAIF flagship conference is organised in collaboration with nine national AI-associations from the European Union. This time the event will be broadcasted from Ljubljana. With the conference, the EAIF aims to bring policymakers, NGOs, AI experts and entrepreneurs together to discuss the most pressing issues that are driving the AI ecosystem around.
You can join the flagship conference of the EAIF live from Ljubljana on 16.12.2021 here.
The main panel topics will include:
● Demystification of AI innovation
● Glass-Steagall – How to approach responsible biometric recognition
● European pain points of AI progress
● AI vs AI – Is cybersecurity the new European AI frontier
The line-up consists of keynotes and panels talks of high-level speakers from across the European Union including Mark Boris Andrijanič – Minister for digital transformation of Slovenia, Mariya Gabriel – European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Gregor Strojin – The President of the Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence at the Council of Europe (CAHAI). Also present will be Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl – Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE, Klemens Himpele – CIO of the City of Vienna, Colonel Cedric Perrot – French National Gendarmerie, Eglė Markevičiūtė – Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Lithuania, as well as Claire Skentelbery – Director general of EuropaBio. Other speakers are Yordanka Ivanova – Legal and policy officer for AI, DG CNECT, Jasen Tanev – Leader of cybersecurity consulting committee at the Bulgarian Industrial Association, and Matthias Grabner – Topic Manager for Austrian National CyberSec Competence Center.
The future of the European AI Ecosystem
At the annual meeting in Vienna, the representatives of the EAIF decided to intensify the cooperation among its members and to create an European AI umbrella association in 2022. The nine members, national AI organizations from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, and Slovenia, decided to go beyond organizing conferences on a half-year base.
In order to establish a truly European AI ecosystem, the association will function as a coordination layer for the national organizations and allow them to pursue their objectives more systematically. More concretely, agreement on three main issues was reached unanimously:
● Policy Making & Regulation – the political activity among its members shall be calibrated better. All the major policy decisions affecting the AI community are made in Brussels. It is thus essential to develop a common political voice which will allow the EAIF to interact with decision makers more efficiently and to influence future regulatory frameworks.
● Matchmaking & Cross Industry – the new umbrella association will actively promote exchange among European AI companies. So far, little such exchange is happening. The development of a more collaborative ecosystem promises to boost synergy and innovation in the sector.
● Education & Awareness – the EAIF wants to cultivate a proper awareness about AI in European societies.
Moreover, the current members of EAIF decided that they want to continue to be open to new members as well as to interested citizens. The idea is to remain an inclusive organization which not only supports AI entrepreneurs, but also accommodates a wide spectrum of voices within the European societies and the bigger European family.