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The Government AI Readiness Index 2019: How is Europe Doing in Comparison to the Rest of the World

The Government AI Readiness Index 2019: More Equal Implementation Needed to Close Global Inequalities
The Government AI Readiness Index 2019

Over the past few months, Knowledge 4 All Foundation, a key partner in the HumaneAI project and the Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI4D) initiative to advance AI in the Global South, partnered with Oxford Insights, an international public sector consultancy specialising in AI, and IDRC which prepared the second edition of the Government AI Readiness Index.

Western Europe dominates the top 20 places of the 2019 Government AI Readiness Index, as might be expected due to the strong economies of the majority of Western European nations. 11 of the top 20 governments in the rankings are Western European, with the top ranking government among this group being the UK (second globally), followed by Germany (third), and interestingly Finland (fifth) and Sweden (sixth), demonstrating that AI readiness is not necessarily exclusively dictated by economic might. Larger economies, such as France and Italy, lagged behind in eighth and fifteenth places respectively. The report also covers the Eastern European region.

The Index measures governments’ readiness for implementing AI in their internal operations and in public service delivery. It builds on the methodology that combines 11 input metrics to produce a composite score for OECD governments, grouped under four high-level clusters: governance; infrastructure and data; skills and education; and government and public services. The data is derived from a variety of resources.

This year’s index is more globally represented and expanded the scope to cover all UN countries. Having calculated scores for all 194 governments included in the report, we invited experts from each region to contribute commentary to help bring our findings to life with their insights and local knowledge.

References: Hannah Miller, Oxford Insight, attribution by AI4D, CC-BY 2.0.,

HumaneAI presentation at DG CONNECT

The representatives of the HumaneAI project had a meeting with Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director-General in DG CONNECT and his team to present the projects ambition to match the European Commissions’ vision of Human Centric, Ethical, and European AI.  HumaneAI is a consortium of 35 partners from 17 countries, with the know-how and a plan to immediately start doing R&D towards that vision.

HumaneAI project becomes reality

The Humane AI kick-off meeting was held on 11 April 2019 at the CINIQ center in Berlin with all partners attending. 

Humane AI, with project number 761758, is funded under the  topic “FET FLAGSHIPS – Tackling grand interdisciplinary science and technology challenges” of European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. 

The focus is on human-centered AI, with a strong emphasis on ethics, values by design, and appropriate consideration of related legal and social issues. The HumanE AI project will mobilize a research landscape far beyond the direct project funding and create a unique innovation ecosystem that offers substantial return on investment. It will result in significant disruption across its socio-economic impact areas, including Industry 4.0, health & well-being, mobility, education, policy and finance. It will spearhead the efforts required to help Europe achieve a step-change in AI uptake across the economy.

The consortium with 35 partners from 17 countries, including four large industrial members, has defined further steps to implement a full research agenda in Human oriented AI and a strategy to mobilize major scientific, industrial, political and public support for this vision.

European Communication to Member States fits the vision of HumaneAI

The Commission published a European strategy in AI in April 2018. The strategy places people at the centre of the development of AI — human-centric AI. It is a three-pronged approach to boost the EU’s technological and industrial capacity and AI uptake across the economy, prepare for socio-economic changes, and ensure an appropriate ethical and legal framework.

To deliver on the AI strategy, the Commission developed together with Member States a coordinated plan on AI, which it presented in December 2018, to create synergies, pool data — the raw material for many AI applications — and increase joint investments.

The aim is to foster cross-border cooperation and mobilise all players to increase public and private investments to at least EUR 20 billion annually over the next decade.

The Commission doubled its investments in AI in Horizon 2020 and plans to invest EUR 1 billion annually from Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Programme, in support notably of common data spaces in health, transport and manufacturing, and large experimentation facilities such as smart hospitals and infrastructures for automated vehicles and a strategic research agenda.

European Commission supports a vision of Human Centered artificial intelligence

The Commission presented on 8 April 2019 next steps for building trust in artificial intelligence by taking forward the work of the High-Level Expert Group.

Building on the work of the group of independent experts appointed in June 2018, the Commission is launching a pilot phase to ensure that the ethical guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and use can be implemented in practice. The Commission invites industry, research institutes and public authorities to test the detailed assessment list drafted by the High-Level Expert Group, which complements the guidelines.