Strategy to shape Europe’s digital future announced

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European Commission unveils new rules on AI, data sharing. With a focus on artificial intelligence and data economy, the EU launched on Wednesday its digital strategy designed to make technology more people-focused.

“Today we are presenting our ambition to shape Europe’s digital future. It covers everything from cybersecurity to critical infrastructures, digital education to skills, democracy to media,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said as she unveiled the bloc’s digital approach. “I want that digital Europe reflects the best of Europe – open, fair, diverse, democratic, and confident.”

The plan of action — Shaping Europe’s Digital Future — envisions a digital society that works for all European citizens, meets the opportunities and challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI), and focuses on data strategy to give better access to data for European businesses, researchers and public services.

The EU commissioner for digitalization, Margrethe Vestager said the strategy is as an opportunity for “every citizen, employee, and business to stand a fair chance to reap the benefits of digitalization”.

The commissioner said AI will contribute to develop the Europeans’ daily lives in many fields, including better diagnosis and precision surgery in healthcare, and reduced pesticides or fertilizers in farming that also serves the purpose of climate protection.

“Technology should work for people, not the other way around,” Vestager said, adding that the EU would create a strict ethical code for the industry to make sure AI does not harm or discriminate.

The commission says its digital strategy is meant to launch a European single market for industrial data.

“The battle for industrial data starts now, and the battlefield will be Europe,” European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton said.

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