The European Commission, an executive of the European Union, has announced it will be more than doubling its investments in artificial intelligence (AI).
The commission will increase spending on AI by 70%, reaching €1.5bn (US$1.81bn) by 2020, in a bid to compete with Asia and the US, which are both investing at least three time as much.
Europe privately invested €2.4-3.2bn ($2.4-3.82bn) in AI in 2016, compared to almost €10bn ($12.09bn) from Asia and €18bn ($21.77bn) from the US.
The institution says it wants total investments in AI – from private and public financers – to hit at least €20bn ($24.2bn) by the end of 2020.
The European Commission anticipates that’s its €1.5bn pledge will encourage an additional €2.5bn ($3.02bn) from existing public-private partnerships.
“Just as the steam engine and electricity did in the past, AI is transforming our world,” stated Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission.
“Today (25 April), we are giving a boost to researchers so that they can develop the next generation of AI technologies and applications, and to companies, so that they can embrace and incorporate them.”
The UK made a similar pledge as part of its Industrial Strategy, agreeing to fund the AI industry with £1bn ($1.38bn).
Last month, France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, committed €1.5bn to the industry in public money.