Shaping a responsible AI strategy for SMEs
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is probably one of, if not, the most significant general-purpose technology of our time. AI is transforming the way we live, work, travel, do business, produce goods and food in the 21st century.
Thanks to machine learning, we can now build systems capable of improving their own performance over time. Big companies have started long ago to employ digital technologies such as AI and machine learning to optimize their business processes. SMEs, however, are still at the beginning: they should prepare for the upcoming wave of innovation, studying the industry and planning suitable strategies for the future
Those who don’t play an active part in this process of change will, quite simply, lose their competitiveness in a global world. One challenge for the EU is to close the widening gap with the US and China. Innovative ideas were developed by European entrepreneurs but scaled up abroad. This brain drain of highly-skilled experts and engineers further increased Europe’s dependency on technology providers from third countries.
As we ponder the potential (applications) of AI, some warn of the devastating impact these new technologies may have on existing employment patterns. On the other hand, others voice ethical concerns when humans enable machines to replace humans. Automation through robotics and AI could affect over half of current European jobs.
To promote a positive development and future, Europe needs to put its SMEs in the centre of the AI strategy as well as think small first when developing legal frameworks, minding the high costs of compliance that are burdensome for SMEs in the first place. We invite SMEs and other key stakeholders to be at the core of this discussion.