State to make ready AI strategy by year-end

Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Artificial Intelligence (AI). Source: A Health Blog/Creative Commons/ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The state will have prepared a new strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber security, by the end of this year.

Over the past two years, the state has allocated €20 million towards the development of AI, with the aim of utilizing it to use data as wisely and efficiently as possible. 

Minister of IT and Communications Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200) took the example of construction, where it is currently difficult for people to find the right place to obtain information such as a building permit and the energy efficiency requirements a building should meet, he said.

"Inevitably, the requirements and regulations are dispersed across various different laws. Since the aid of a lawyer is required to understand how to proceed, artificial intelligence would be the perfect solution to read the relevant legislation and provide a person an intelligent and comprehensive answer as to where to go next," Riisalo said.

More and more Estonian digital services are related to AI, the minister added, with an initial framework likely to get underway in early autumn and ready by year-end.

"We will then examine both AI and the data, to see how the Estonian state as a whole can manage in this changing environment," the minister added.

AI and its proliferation has, however, been accompanied by fears over the implications for a wide range of areas of life.

 Anu Puusaag, smart tech manager at the Tehnopol Science
and Business Park in Tallinn, said these relate: "To security, to ethical issues. Is your data being stored securely, how does someone handle your data. What are the legal problems or other issues, including financial ones. There are plenty of ethical, security and privacy issues around there."

Puusaag noted that it is easy to forget the role AI already plays in, for instance, road traffic management, while the Technopolis research center works with robots aimed at, for example, healthcare.

Minister Riisalo said that Estonia is at the forefront in the field world wide, though Puusaag said there is room for development.

"In European terms we are perhaps in second or third place, while in Asian terms we are also somewhat behind. Our e-governance solutions are in the front rank worldwide, but there is still plenty of room for development in terms of AI," she said.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming.

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Iida-Mai Einmaa.

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