EU Science Hub

AI opportunities and threats

AI comes with both opportunities and threats, and the balance will depend on our decisions.

Get it right, and AI will strengthen European sovereignty and enhance our well-being.

Get it wrong, and European values may be confined to the dustbin of history.

Data fueling our economic growth

If we assert European interests and values in how our data is used, our data can fuel our own economic growth. If we fail to do so, we risk ending up a 'data colony'.

Whilst most data captured in the US and China, and to an extent Russia, stays in their respective countries because of market dominance, policy, or both, in Europe the vast majority of data provided by European citizens, companies, and governments ends up outside Europe.

For example, Google captures 86% of global Internet searches, Facebook has more than 2 billion active users per month, and  Amazon is the largest  provider of cloud services with over 1 million users.

Europe should open its data via Application Programming Interfaces to control better who access and uses the data, and use this information to enrich its data with semantic context, which is crucial to train new algorithms.

In other words it needs to adopt the models of Internet platforms and  move from a broadcasting model of sharing data to an interactive one.

Nurture innovation in AI

If we nurture innovation in AI, we can attract top talent and support local initiatives. Otherwise a brain drain from Europe will hamper our economic prospects.

It is estimated that there are only some 22,000 PhDs worldwide  on AI and 5000 researchers who have presented Ai papers at conferences.

With this dearth of supply, salaries are rocketing, with six figure starting salaries in the US.

Training Europeans without providing jobs and increased salaries will only fuel the brain drain from Europe to USA, and within Europe from poorer regions to wealthier ones.

Take action, invest to safe jobs

AI will reshuffle the current jobs landscape with both losers and winners. Either we invest in re-skilling and better education to help workers climb up the rungs of drudgery, or we’ll have tens of millions of European who can’t get jobs at all.

Already now there are major imbalances in the job market which can only get worse with AI deployment if no action is taken 

The report

This report presents a European view of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based on independent research and analysis by the JRC to inform the debate at the European level.

Artificial Intelligence: A European perspective