In a significant development that can push further innovation in developing AI, the EU has decided to provide responsible AI startups with access to its high-performance computing (HPC) supercomputers for training AI models.
This initiative, introduced by EU President Ursula von der Leyen during her annual ‘State of the Union’ address, is part of a broader strategy to shape the future of AI governance.
The EU HPC supercomputers are known for their computational power, including the petascale and pre-exascale systems.
However, this access to the resources comes with a clause: AI startups need to align with the AI governance standards and principles of the EU.
Over the last few months, the EU has demonstrated a proactive stance in developing a comprehensive framework for controlling the use of AI. Last May, it introduced a set of voluntary rules and standards for the AI industry.
Besides, the EU is also in the process of finalizing the AI Act, which is a risk-based regulatory framework for AI applications.
The comprehensive approach from the EU reflects its commitment to addressing the challenges brought about by the AI wave.
President Von Der Leyen Expresses Concerns Over AI Risks
President Leyen expressed her concerns that the tech industry is encountering the inception of AI. During her speech, she focused on the potential existential risks of AI. She also warned that AI was evolving faster than expected. In this context, she advocated the urgency to regulate the technology.
Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.Ursula von der Leyen
During her speech, she also proposed establishing a global body similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This body would evaluate the benefits of AI on a global scale while addressing its risks.
The organization would include tech companies, scientists, and independent experts to keep policymakers abreast with updated details on AI-related risks. Such an initiative would promote international collaboration and coordination in controlling AI use.
With the EU leadership acknowledging the existential risks of AI, safety startups like Conjecture working on AI responded positively to the stance. They praised the EU for recognizing the potential dangers and called for global cooperation to effectively manage these risks.
Responsible AI Startups To Benefit From Faster Processing Speed
Currently, the EU operates eight supercomputers located across member states, including Italy, Spain, and Finland. Besides, two more exascale supercomputers are set to join the force.
The EU has shifted its focus on guiding further innovation using AI. The EU AI Start-Up Initiative has been launched to identify promising AI startups in Europe and provide them access to high-performance computing power.
This initiative also aligns with the broader efforts that the EU is making to encourage innovation and develop AI, considering European values.
The EU has plans to engage several stakeholders, including policymakers, academic experts, businesses, NGOs, consumers, and startups, to approach AI governance holistically.
The European AI Alliance Assembly, scheduled for November, will bring these diverse voices together. This should go a long way in shaping AI governance in the EU. The inclusive approach presents a sharp contrast to the narrower stances that some other regions have taken.