Blazing a trail for European AI computing

AI stands on the verge of consuming Europe’s data. How can Europe fully embrace AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has almost unlimited potential to transform all facets of everyday life and work.

As a consequence, demand for AI computing power continues to rise at an accelerating pace. We stand on the cusp of this change, which will see both technological advances and digital trust work hand in hand to deliver benefits for society and commerce.

Keeping pace with Europe’s evolving AI needs will require proactive upscaling of computing resources, drawing on the latest technology, right down to microchip level. At the same time, appropriate controls must evolve to ensure that data is protected, so governments, citizens and businesses can have confidence in AI-aided discoveries and the resulting decisions and actions.

This report considers how well positioned Europe currently is to capitalize on and deliver the next-generation of AI computing capability, and to retain sufficient control over matters of security, privacy and appropriate use of the technology. Although the European Commission sets out concerted plans for an EU ‘ecosystem of excellence’ and an ‘ecosystem of trust’ in its AI strategy, ‘trust’ has accounted for the majority of its focus to date. However, given the dynamic evolution of AI technologies, achieving trust and maintaining ‘excellence’ in the field cannot be separated and must be prioritized equally.

Today, Europe is highly dependent on other regions for AI technology and solutions. This is both a missed opportunity and a source of risk. Technology companies, together with governments in Europe, have an opportunity to create a regional powerhouse in this space, in response both to demand for AI technology and to the EU’s specific requirements around data and digital governance.

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AI is anticipated to become the key method of Big Data analytics by 2025

Today, only an estimated 2% of all newly-created data in Western Europe is processed using AI algorithms once it has left the device on which data is captured or created. This proportion is expected to grow to well above 50% by the end of 2025.

Sustainable progress requires multilateral collaboration in regulation, investment and technology adaptation

The realization of the European dream of trusted, safe, secure and societally-beneficial AI, leveraging the best of the world’s technologies, will require strategic investment and extensive multilateral cooperation. European regulators as well as private sector players will need to actively collaborate to make this dream a reality.

Specific actions will be required of both private- and public-sector organizations across two areas of aspiration: the pursuit of AI excellence (technology and innovation) as well as achieving trust in AI.

About this report

Our analysis is based on the latest projections from IDC and Gartner. Drawing on our research, and insights from over 40 world-class scholars and PwC and industry experts, this report considers how well positioned Europe currently is to capitalize on and deliver the next-generation of AI computing capability, and to retain sufficient control over matters of security, privacy and appropriate use of the technology.

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Marcus Gloger

Marcus Gloger

Partner, Strategy& Germany

Yanbing Jiang

Yanbing Jiang

Senior Executive Advisor, Strategy& Germany

Andris Ogrins

Andris Ogrins

Senior Manager, Strategy& Germany

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