“What do the old-fashioned telephone and AI have in common?”
This is what iGenius CEO, Uljan Sharka asked an audience of MEPs and members of the European Commission at the AI & Big Data for Innovation Summit in Brussels, on 3 December 2019.
“They are both technologies that changed society fundamentally and, as all new technologies do, they also both sparked awe, criticism and — in some cases — outright anxiety.”
Sharka also pointed out the main difference between them: the unprecedented pace at which today’s technology is moving and shaping society.
“Since its introduction in the late 1800s, it took the old-fashioned telephone 75 years for 100 million people around the world to have access to it”, he added.
“AI and tech innovation move at an unprecedented pace, with 3.25 billion voice assistants activated in just five years.”
The speed at which technology is evolving today is so staggering that policymakers, and companies alike, are struggling to keep up with it.
According to a recent Accenture report, three out of four C-suite executives believe that if they don’t scale artificial intelligence (AI) in the next five years, they risk going out of business altogether. Yet, 76% of execs surveyed reported that they struggle with how to scale AI.
As AI’s widespread adoption becomes evident, the European Commission has vowed to put forward legislation focusing on its “human and ethical implications”. European legislation will likely determine Europe’s position compared to the US, which still leads the way in AI and innovation, and China, which is closing the gap quickly.
“I believe that AI can augment human skills like no technological advancement before,” said Sharka.
“Can you as policymakers turn AI into an opportunity for Europe? We software companies are here to help.”