Big data, small politics
Can the EU become another AI superpower?
Taking on America and China will be hard
Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has a reputation for being dour. But if she wants to, she can be quite funny. When asked at a recent conference organised by Ada, a new quarterly publication for technophiles, whether robots should have rights, she dead-panned: “What do you mean? The right to electric power? Or to regular maintenance?”
The interview was also striking for a different reason. Mrs Merkel showed herself preoccupied by artificial intelligence (AI) and its geopolitics. “In the US, control over personal data is privatised to a large extent. In China the opposite is true: the state has mounted a takeover,” she said, adding that it is between these two poles that Europe will have to find its place.
Such reflections are part of a wider realisation in Europe: that AI could be as important to its future as other foundational technologies, like electricity or the steam engine. Some
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