AI in general 1, 2018

Positively Shaping the Future of Austria with Robotics and AI



Austrian Council on Robotics and AI


The Council published its White Paper in November 2018, at the same time when two ministries called on the Federal Government to develop an Austrian national strategy. This document offered key principles and ‘cornerstones’ for the development of such a strategy. It identified 4 fields of action and 3 cornerstones.
The fields of action are Technology, R&D and the economy; Workplace and qualification; Society and law; Awareness raising, communication and public relations.
The 3 cornerstones are Smart Governance; Smart Innovation; and Smart Regulation.
Under Smart Governance, the Council recommends that the Austrian national strategy should be developed in an iterative manner, building on institutionalized learning processes and feedback loops as well as on a continuous monitoring of AI R&D, and with broad involvement of citizens and stakeholders from affected fields. Further, the Council recommends strong networking with strategic EU initiatives and cites the Montreal Declaration on Responsible AI as an inspiring model. 
In relation to Smart Innovation the Council recommends significant investment in AI technologies and the necessary infrastructure, as well as targeted measures for the training of professionals and the retraining of employees. Furthermore, a distinction should be introduced between unproblematic and sensitive areas of AI applications. “For sensitive application areas with high risk and unclear technology assessment, "sandboxes" and "testbeds" should be set up, which enable rapid learning, for all involved stakeholders (research and development, business and politics), and rapid knowledge transfer.” Innovation policy should build on the experiences derived from the various use cases, and incorporate feedback loops and procedures for reflection.
Finally, under Smart Regulation, the Council recommends reviewing the existing ethical and legal framework and creating new rules and standards as necessary. This work should be undertaken in close coordination with the activities and decisions of the European Commission. Certification and auditing tools for robotics and AI technologies should be developed as well.

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