Åbent brev til Margrethe Vestager

IT-Branchen og en række nordiske start-ups har sendt et åbent brev til EU-kommissær Margrethe Vestager.

Åbent brev til Margrethe Vestager

AI kommer til at spille en enorm rolle i hele EU, og derfor har en lang række start-up virksomheder sammen med IT-branchen og andre organisationer sendt et åbent brev til Margrethe Vestager med en række forslag.

To European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager

Artificial intelligence is high on the political agenda – in the Nordic region and Europe as a whole. The Nordic nations boast high-tech and forward thinking economies.

Despite their small population, they have produced a disproportionately large number of tech unicorns, and have some of the best-educated, and technologically comfortable people in the world.

They offer an example for many other countries to follow.

Many European countries have already launched ambitious national AI-strategies and are working to address ethical challenges and risks of AI.

Europe is entering a new political era.

The new European Commission President wants to create “a Europe fit for the digital age“.

This is a crucial moment for the European digital startup economy, and the time is right to come together and ask for smart and workable policies to support our industry.

Commissioner Vestager, as you know, Danish and Finnish startups and associated organisations recently came together on the main stage at TechBBQ in Denmark, one of Scandinavia’s leading tech conferences attracting more than 9.800 techies, to which you were invited.

At a panel debate hosted by Danish Entrepreneur Association with panelists including Worksome, Coinify, Solita, Confederation of Danish Industry and Digital Hub Denmark, we discussed the challenges and opportunities of AI, and how it can be regulated.

Although attendees told many inspiring success stories about Nordic startups, they also showed concern by policymakers’ approach to regulation.

Machine learning makes artificial intelligence possible, but it can only work with high quantities of high quality, diverse, representative and annotated data.

Startups and associated organisations at TechBBQ agreed that policymakers should prioritise AI adoption over regulation, and build laws based on real-world evidence, rather than misguided fears.

We want to see startups thrive in Europe.

The panel agreed on a range of recommendations to help support startups and innovators using AI in the Nordics and in Europe as a whole.

Unfortunately, as you were not available to attend the debate, please receive our recommendations, which include the following:

  • Europe needs a confident and positive AI vision. AI must be demystified in the public eye, to help businesses invest in AI projects. Without this, we will never develop the real-world evidence and data which are essential for high quality AI and high quality regulations, which complement the economy.
  • Digital skills and learnings are vital for a European AI success. There is a call for AI trainings on all levels in society, including policymakers and politicians, to democratise the AI understanding and vision. Applying AI successfully often requires a complete rethinking of business processes, and especially startups need easy access to all relevant AI tools to succeed.
  • Create a truly digitised Single Market, integrated into economy. AI cannot be ‘sprinkled’ on outdated structures, hoping it works. There needs to be the right external conditions to embark on a transformation. The EU market is far from one single market, and in particular when it comes to the digital economy. In a truly digitised single market, for example, data will be able to flow freely between all member states in the EU, allowing digital solutions and AI applications to enjoy as much European data as possible.
  • A smart, principle-based and flexible AI-framework. Regulation should be a last resort. But if introduced, it must be based on specific findings, be smart and set out an overall direction of use. The impact of AI varies greatly depending on the use cases – this needs to be taken into account when considering a governance framework. Regulation should avoid descriptive and restrictive rules to keep up with the fast pace of technological change, to boost innovation and new emerging tech startups.
  • Develop soft laws and flexible standards in partnership with industry. Technical elements of AI regulations should be kept outside of statutory regulation and be laid down in standards and industry codes, in order to make regulations a collaborative process between government and industry, and to ensure that they are fit for purpose in such a fast-moving sector.

Europe has a significant voice in the international economy. Europe is a huge economy, produces some of the best companies and services in the world, has great educational institutions and should capitalize on these strengths.

But small businesses and startups can be unintentionally harmed by regulations, such as the inconsistent rules on the sale of stock options around Europe, or the strict data-usage and copyright legislation.

These issues, among others, contribute to the fact that investment in AI in China is three times larger than in Europe, and five times larger in the United States.

We all want to see pan-European tech companies thrive, and for Europe to truly embrace the digital age.

Before introducing new legislation, we propose that you listen to the concerns of tech startups and scaleups first, who are heavily affected by sweeping legislation.

We urge you and your colleagues to consider our range of recommendations, and look at our way forward for Europe in the age of AI.

We look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

  • Peter Kofler, Chairman, Danish Entrepreneurship Association
  • Pieter Veldhuizen, Head of Public Affairs, Dutch Startup Association
  • Frederik Tibau, Director of International Relations, Agoria, Belgian Startup Association
  • Per Diget, President of IDA Business and Growth committee, Association of Nordic Engineers / ANE
  • Dagmar Kuchtová, Director General, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic
  • Lenard Koschwitz, Senior Director Global Policy, Allied4Startups
  • Andreas Cleve Lohmann, CO-Founder, Corti
  • Jacob Brandt, Executive Vice President, SMV Danmark
  • Mette Lundberg, Head of Politics and Communication, The Danish ICT Industry Association
  • Cecilia Bornefeld-Dahl, Director General, DIGITALEUROPE
  • Avnit Singh, CEO, TechBBQ
  • Lauri Helenius, Senior Vice President, Solita
  • Christian Walther Oyrabo, Founder and CEO, Autovice
  • Vladimir Funtikov, Founder and CEO, Creative Mobile
  • Anusha Ramakrishnan, Marketing Manager, Grib3D
  • Jonatan Hedin, VP Analytics & Client Operations, Universal Avenue
  • Adam Nelvin, Head of Public Affairs, Einride
  • Mart Aro, Founder, Nordic EdTech Forum
  • Sander Gansen, Founder and managing partner, Springrise
  • Björn Thorngren, CEO, Meds
  • Stephen Alstrup, CEO, SupWiz
  • Jakob Knobel, CEO, Datapult
  • Morten Petersen, CEO, Worksome