AI expert: Europe is lagging far behind in AI development, threatening its security
Artificial intelligence and its development in Europe were the focus of MEPs during a session held in Strasbourg. The report „Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age“, which was presented and voted for by a large majority of MEPs, highlighted the untapped potential of AI in managing climate change and pandemics and adapting it to the labour market, all in the face of war and cyber threats.
Artificial intelligence is defined as systems that do not operate according to a designed algorithm but are able to learn from new data.
Europe is lagging behind the US and China in the development of artificial intelligence
The fact that European policymakers have turned their eyes to the challenges of applying AI technologies is an important step forward, according to Jokūbas Drazdas, director of UAB Acrux Cyber Service, a Lithuanian IT company specialising in AI and cyber security.
„The report presented in Strasbourg pointed out that Europe does not have a unified strategy for the development of AI and that processes are too bureaucratic. Europe is lagging far behind the US and China in the development and deployment of AI. In 2020, only 7% of European companies were using AI systems. The US and China are currently trying to accelerate the use of AI in the public and private sectors. The US and China invest 80% of their global investment in AI. In Europe, meanwhile, only 7%. We hope that the European Parliament will not only vote in favour of an action plan for the development of artificial intelligence but that national governments will also take the necessary steps. We are unlikely to catch up with the US and China, but we must not fall far behind. The conclusions and recommendations of the report are some five years overdue, but such deliberations in the European Parliament are still an important step forward,“ says Jokūbas Drazdas.
The gap has a negative impact on cyber security
He believes that the wide artificial intelligence gap makes the European Union more vulnerable in terms of military and cyber security.
„The large artificial intelligence gap makes the EU vulnerable in terms of military and cyber security. Various regulations are currently holding back progress that could be directed toward strengthening security. AI systems can help detect malware, identify cybersecurity threats, and carry out automated actions to prevent hacking and data theft. The Russian war in Ukraine shows that the war is also being fought in cyberspace. Artificial intelligence can be applied in this war to target and disrupt key elements of an adversary’s operating systems. We need to prepare for this kind of war as well,“ says James Drazdas.
Artificial intelligence is not about tracking people
In the report, MEPs suggest that European countries should open up their data to research and AI developers.
Some MEPs also see threats in the development of AI.
„Authoritarian regimes often use AI systems to control, monitor and rank their citizens on a mass scale or to restrict their freedom of movement. Various technology platforms seek to obtain as much information as possible about the individuals using them. This collection of information, if it does not have safeguards, could threaten the protection of human rights. This is the subject of the greatest debate. The AI legislation based on the recommendations will need to clearly regulate the limits of the use of artificial intelligence. However, AI is not there to restrict people but rather to improve their quality of life: to facilitate work processes, to help fight pandemics and various diseases through personalised medicine. The possibilities for artificial applications are very broad,“ says the cybersecurity and artificial intelligence company head.
Artificial intelligence is already being applied in Lithuania
In Lithuania, artificial intelligence solutions have been used for years in the diagnosis of diseases and even in the selection of treatment methods. Acrux Cyber Service, in collaboration with scientists, has developed a unique platform where medical staff can not only monitor the condition of patients connected to artificial lung ventilation devices but also see changes in their condition that can be detected at a very early stage. This system is already being used in the treatment of patients at Vilnius University Hospital. This and other Lithuanian companies are also using a wider range of solutions in the medical, environmental, energy, construction, and other sectors.