US and EU officials sign ambitious AI agreement
The United States and the European Union have announced an agreement to enhance the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve agriculture, healthcare, emergency response, climate forecasting and the electric grid.
The European Commission and the US administration have recently signed an “administrative agreement on artificial intelligence for the public good” at a virtual ceremony.
The agreement was signed in the context of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), launched in 2021 as a permanent platform for transatlantic cooperation across several priority areas, from supply chain security to emerging technologies.
The last high-level meeting of the TTC was held in the US in December 2022. At the time, AI was presented as one of the most advanced areas in terms of cooperation.
A senior US administration official called it “the first sweeping AI agreement between the United States and Europe”, stressing that previous agreements on the issue had been limited to specific areas such as enhancing privacy.
“The magic here is in building joint models [while] leaving data where it is,” the senior administration official said. “The US data stays in the US and European data stays there, but we can build a model that talks to the European and the US data because the more data and the more diverse data, the better the model.”
In particular, the two blocs endorsed a joint roadmap that aims to establish a common approach to critical aspects of AI, such as metrics to measure trustworthiness and risk management methods.
“Based on common values and interests, EU and US researchers will join forces to develop societal applications of AI and will work with other international partners for a truly global impact,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner said in a statement.
This collaborative effort is expected to focus on promoting AI research in five key areas: extreme weather and climate forecasting; emergency response management; health and medicine improvements; electric grid optimisation, and agriculture optimisation.
Although the two partners will build joint models, they will not share the training data sets with each other, the European Commission said.
The partnership is currently between just the White House and the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-member European Union. The senior administration official said other countries will be invited to join in the coming months.