AI in general 12, 2019

Recommendations for an AI Strategy in Switzerland



Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences


The white paper by the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences puts forward recommendations for an AI strategy. The recommendations focus on 5 key areas.

First, the country should create national data platforms, for citizens to store their data in a way that allows them to maintaining full control over how their data is shared and used, while providing the opportunity to allow data to be used for socially beneficial purposes. The suggested model is that of a cooperative organization, such as the MIDATA health data platform. MIDATA was developed at ETH Zurich and Bern University of Applied Sciences. It allows the IT platform to be separated from the data applications, thereby creating an open innovation ecosystem. The goal is to empower and enable citizens to become active data aggregators. For that to happen, Switzerland must adopt the EU’s data portability framework, introduce a system of electronic identity, and take steps towards the creation of democratically controlled personal data ecosystem.

Second, an institution should be established, at the governmental level in Switzerland, which would be tasked with the responsibility to establish requirements and perform verification and certification of AI systems.

Third, steps should be taken to increase societal trust in AI and improve AI’s public image. On the one hand, positive AI images should be shared. At the same time, transparency should be enhanced and broad societal dialogue undertaken.

Fourth, research on and with AI should be encouraged and its use in higher education strengthened.

Fifth, an appropriate environment should be created for Swiss SME’s to benefit from AI.

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