Freeing up access to data to make room for European innovation

The observation is clear: Europe is lagging behind in terms of AI and innovation. At issue are overly restrictive regulations that act as barriers to entry for businesses.

Data is the essence and fuel of artificial intelligence, regardless of the field in which it is used. It is indeed the cross-referencing of all the data collected which is the main driver of an AI offering innovative products, attractive customer experiences, process optimization… More data, therefore, means more opportunities to provide rapid response to concrete problems. However, for their use to be effective, the data must be plentiful, reliable and unbiased. Harvesting as much as possible is the first step to creating new, meaningful and powerful things. But between badly targeted regulations, lack of education and poor understanding of the issues related to their collection, the road is still (too) long.

Regulations and misunderstanding that slow down innovation

The development of artificial intelligence and its degree of power results from a social but above all political vision. Overall, the European Union is adopting a rather unique posture in a sector dominated by the United States, with its weakly regulated model, and China, where data is used to monitor and constrain. While trying to remain an attractive pole, the EU is therefore developing more and more regulations (GDPR, AIA, etc.). Even if it means pushing back innovation? For the moment, no European alternative has managed to rise to the ranks of GAFAM and world leaders in artificial intelligence, despite a budget of 1.38 billion euros dedicated to digital investments, and AI in particular. And the hegemony of the United States and the Asian powers is no longer to be proven: they alone account for almost three quarters of the AI ​​innovation market and more than half of the world market share. Over the last 30 years, the United States is the issuer of 30% of AI patents, China 26%, Japan 12% and South Korea 6%. The European powers follow: Germany (5%) and the United Kingdom (2.5%). France only comes in seventh place with 2.4%, just ahead of Canada (1.9%). And it is European companies that bear the brunt of these economic and political imbalances: they are struggling to develop in this context. The regulations mainly impact start-ups and SMEs, by acting as a brake on the development of their new, innovative and efficient tools, or even a real barrier to entry into certain fields, unlike those which were launched even before the data does not become subject to legislation. They also face a problem of temporality: with a gap between the length of development time and the speed of new texts, innovations find themselves shelved before they can even come out.

Legislate the use of data rather than its access

If access to data must be liberalized, legislating its use remains essential. It is undeniable that artificial intelligence entails a certain number of issues and challenges for our society, a legal framework for its field of action is therefore essential today to guarantee the security, integrity and respect of our fundamental freedoms, and a consistent and ethical use of artificial intelligence. Because yes, the very essence of a law on AI, which questions and calls into question the confidence that we can have in it, is knowing where to place the cursor of ethics. A subject that comes back to the heart of the debates with each technological innovation in our society. The establishment of an ethical framework relating to AI is also part of a need to re-establish trust in digital technology. To counter the mistrust that may exist regarding the processing of personal data, transparency and traceability seem to be unbreakable prerequisites. But beyond that, regulation through the prism of ethics still seems nebulous. If ethics seems to be never negotiable, it ultimately always remains a subject of debate, inscribed in a context, an era. Whether we like it or not, artificial intelligence is a reflection of the society in which we live. Legislating therefore means imagining the society in which we would like to live tomorrow. If the laws must exist, they must remain logical and understandable. And above all, they must include companies in their development to be anchored in their reality and be more easily accepted and applied.

It is vital for European competitiveness to change its approach to access to data, to encourage and facilitate innovation in connection with artificial intelligence. A liberalization of data, coupled with a properly established regulatory framework, will finally allow Europe to compete with the technological giants of the world.

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Freeing up access to data to make room for European innovation

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