Friday July 12, 2024

Europeans to join forces to compete against US and China on AI

Published : 30 Oct 2023, 23:24

  By Christoph Sator, dpa
Germany, France and Italy want to strengthen the cooperation on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) so that Europe can compete more effectively against the US and China. Photo: Hannes P. Albert/dpa.

Germany, France and Italy want to cooperate more closely on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) so that Europe can compete more effectively against the US and China.

The economy ministers of the three largest EU economies - Robert Habeck, Bruno Le Maire and Adolfo Urso - also cautioned in Rome on Monday against excessive regulation of AI within the European Union. Habeck said that "strategic coordination" was vital in view of international competition.

Germany, France and Italy belong to the Group of Seven (G7) strongest industrial nations, with Italy taking over the presidency for one year at the beginning of 2024.

The three ministers previously met in Berlin in June to discuss the procurement of critical raw materials. The next such meeting is to take place in Paris at the beginning of next year, when the focus is expected to be on green technologies.

The ministers consistently emphasized that Europe could hold their own at the international level when it comes to AI. Habeck said: "We don't have to hide. We have companies that are better than the US tech giants in many areas."

At the same time, he urged faster decisions at the European level. "If it takes a three-and-a-half-year wait, we no longer have a chance," he said, "We will end up regulating a market that no longer exists."

Bruno Le Maire, the French economy minister, also warned against regulatory frenzy and bureaucracy. "Before we think of regulation, we have to think of innovation and financing. It is innovation that makes regulation." At stake, he said, was Europe's place in the 21st century.

Le Maire pointed out that in the US, 10 times as much money is currently being invested in AI than in Europe. In this context, Habeck spoke of European "risk aversity." There is enough capital and there are enough efficient companies, but they often do not come together, he said.

All three ministers made the case for investment in the sector from the respective state development banks.