European Union Unveils Bold Plan to Accelerate Supercomputer Access for AI Startups

EU President Announces Initiative to Provide Expedited Access to Supercomputers for AI Startups

European Union president Ursula von der Leyen has revealed a new initiative that aims to grant artificial intelligence (AI) startups accelerated access to European supercomputers. The announcement was made during the president’s State of the Union address on September 13, 2023.

In her speech, von der Leyen emphasized the importance of ensuring the development of AI in a human-centric, transparent, and responsible manner. She expressed her belief that the EU, along with its partners, should take the lead in establishing a new global framework for AI based on three key pillars: guardrails, governance, and guiding innovation.

“In introducing the topic of AI, President von der Leyen invoked an open letter sent by members of the global AI community calling for increased regulatory scrutiny of the potential risks associated with AI,” stated the president. The letter highlighted the threat of “extinction from AI” and emphasized the urgency for responsible and informed regulation.

President von der Leyen stressed the need to establish a comprehensive global framework for AI, with the “AI Act” serving as a blueprint for the rest of the world. Regarding governance, she called for the formation of a council similar to the International Panel on Climate Change to oversee AI-related policies and standards.

To drive innovation, the president announced an EU-wide initiative to expedite access to Europe’s supercomputers for AI startups aiming to train models and conduct research. She highlighted the EU’s strong position in supercomputing, with three of the world’s top five most powerful supercomputers located in Europe.

In her address, President von der Leyen also commended US technology companies that voluntarily adopt AI standards and ethics, as well as EU companies that have done the same. She emphasized the importance of consolidating these efforts towards establishing minimum global standards for the safe and ethical use of AI.

The EU’s decision to grant expedited access to supercomputers for AI startups reflects the continent’s commitment to fostering innovation and responsible development in the field of artificial intelligence. By taking the lead in establishing global AI standards, the EU aims to ensure the technology’s potential is harnessed for the benefit of humanity while minimizing associated risks.

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J-S Tremblay
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