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Estonia will have an artificial intelligence strategy

27. March 2018 - 14:29

The Government Office and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will launch a cross-sectoral project to analyse and prepare the implementation of artificial intelligences, or so-called kratts, as well as develop a test environment in Estonia.

The expert group to be created will prepare a bill to allow the use of kratts, i.e. fully autonomous information systems, in all areas of life and to ensure the clarity of the judicial area as well as required supervision.

The expert group will also develop an artificial intelligence strategy for Estonia, which will describe the most useful types of kratts and their use in both the public and private sector as well as measures for promoting the implementation of kratts.

“Even though most of the currently used artificial intelligence applications are not very complex, we can already clearly see that significant changes will take place over the next few years,” said Marten Kaevats, Adviser of the Strategy Unit of the Government Office.

“From a legal perspective, this is a complicated area, as the algorithms of an AI act as a “black box” – even the creator of the artificial intelligence is not always sure why the algorithm made a certain decision. There are no classical cause-and-effect relations that we are used to seeing in existing software. We can only keep improving the algorithms, until their capability at a certain decision point is either as good or even better than that of a human,” Kaevats explained.

Kaevats added that the legal area of the implementation of systems without human interference is a challenge and an unresolved issue in technological development – the question is, who is responsible for the results of the decisions made by systems?

Siim Sikkut, Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, highlighted that the implementation of artificial intelligence could have various benefits for Estonia. “In the public sector, it would allow us to increase the user-centeredness of services, improve the process of data analysis, and make the country work more efficiently by achieving the goals of developing the e-government,” Sikkut emphasised. “Artificial intelligence can also play an important role in the digital revolution of the industry and attract new investments and innovation activity to Estonia – developers of technology are searching for a development and test environment that favours artificial intelligence solutions.”

The work of the expert group is coordinated by the Government Office in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and its term is April 2019.

The expert group will comprise state authorities, universities, companies, and independent experts.