European Union members including the UK have signed declarations on artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and other new technologies.
At the European Commission’s Digital Day 2018, ministers and representatives of EU countries agreed to cooperate in a series of key areas, including AI, blockchain, eHealth and innovation, building on progress made towards a Digital Single Market.
In the declaration of cooperation on AI, 25 European countries agreed to work together on the most important issues raised by artificial intelligence, from ensuring Europe’s competitiveness in the research and deployment of AI, to dealing with social, economic, ethical and legal questions.
“Cooperation will focus on reinforcing European AI research centres, creating synergies in R&D&I funding schemes across Europe, and exchanging views on the impact of AI on society and the economy,” explained Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.
A European Blockchain Partnership will also be established. This declaration, signed by 22 European countries, says that members will exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields and prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors.
“In the future, all public services will use blockchain technology,” said Mariya Gabriel. “Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies.”
Close cooperation between EU countries on blockchain technology can help avoid fragmented approaches and ensure interoperability and wider deployment of blockchain-based services, the Commission said.