TL;DR;

The EU is launching a scheme to recruit world-class AI researchers, attempting to close in on the USA and China’s lead on AI market uptake.
While Europe is a global leader in academic research of human-centric artificial intelligence we lag behind when it comes to putting research into practice. The EU represented 25% of the top most-cited AI publications in 2016 however, when it comes to market uptake, the US and China take the lead and the gap is even wider when it comes to industrial applications of AI. To address this, the European DIGITAL SME Alliance has launched Collaborative Intelligence for Safety Critical systems (CISC) a project that will recruit 14 world-class AI researchers who will work with industrial players to apply research in practice.

While Europe is a global leader in academic research of human-centric artificial intelligence we lag behind when it comes to putting research into practice.

The EU represented 25% of the top most-cited AI publications in 2016 however, when it comes to market uptake, the US and China take the lead and the gap is even wider when it comes to industrial applications of AI. To address this, the European DIGITAL SME Alliance has launched Collaborative Intelligence for Safety Critical systems (CISC) a project that will recruit 14 world-class AI researchers who will work with industrial players to apply research in practice. The deadline for applications is 29 March 2021 and more information can be found here.

The Human-centric approach to AI

Researchers in the programme will be trained with an interdisciplinary skill-set to further the development of collaborative intelligence systems and connect research with industrial applications. They will work on key themes including System Safety Engineering, Neuroergonomics, AI Ethics and Legal.

One of their key tasks will be modelling the dynamics of system behaviours for the production processes, IoT systems, and critical infrastructures. This is important to us at Nightingale HQ because it further demonstrates the value of AI applications in industrial settings and is a step in the right direction. As of 2017, it's estimated that the number of AI researchers in the EU were 43,064 compared to that of the US at 28,536 and China at 18,232, but this gap is narrowing fast with major initiatives launched to support greater numbers in China. Of course research output is only one factor of AI positioning, there are many other elements at play including industry application, access to funding, government policy and education.

Role of industry

We know that research alone will not accelerate Europe's AI position and without robust industry application there will be little impact. To support connections to industrial communities The DIGITAL SME Alliance, which represents over 20,000 digital SMEs across Europe will oversee the hiring and co-mentoring of the researchers and they will also be responsible for connecting the research output to industry.

More info

The deadline for applications is 29 March 2021 and more information can be found here. Researchers will be enrolled in Technological University Dublin and Politecnico of Torino. They will also work closely with EU Senior Policy Manager Annika Linck.

Further reading

OECD (2019) Measuring the Digital Transformation: a Roadmap for the Future. Read publication here

Correia and Reyes (2002/2015) AI research and innovation: Europe paving its own way. Read publication here

Castro, McLaughlin and Chivot (2021) Who Is Winning the AI Race: China, the EU or the United States? Read report here

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