AI finds its way into politics

How Emmanuel Macron advocates Artificial Intelligence for France and draws more and more governments into politics

AI (Artificial Intelligence) meets us everywhere. In artificial arms nerve impulses can now be translated into concrete movements, so that A4 sheets can be lifted and the Mars rover moves independently, digs out soil samples on Mars for over two hours and processes them.

Just two examples that the topic AI is constantly evolving.

In 2050, according to artificial intelligence, computers will be able to execute 100 trillion operations per second. The data volumes that can be stored and processed technically increase at an enormous rate. An important driver is the "Internet of Things". Far more things than people – 200 billion devices and other objects – should be electronically networked worldwide by 2020. So it is not surprising that more and more companies are investing in artificial intelligence. In 2016, 40 billion dollars were invested in AI – three times as much as in 2013.

Now the topic has officially arrived in politics. "The battle for accelerated digital transformation and artificial intelligence is gaining traction in the industry," French President Macron recently said about the short message service Twitter, adding, "I will announce for France to take its place in the global artificial intelligence competition. "

In an interview with technology magazine Wired, Macron has clear goals: he wants France to not lose touch in one of the key technologies of this century, but rather to play an important role, he also announces concrete steps to do so by creating better software that collects data under the Artificial Intelligence umbrella. With faster computers, vast amounts of data available, and improved programs, computers are soon able to take on more and more jobs that are currently predominantly done by people.

Macrons approach to get closer to "AI" with faster computers is praiseworthy, but it should not be overlooked that a shift towards artificial intelligence requires more: one task is to create new jobs, another to find countless experts, who want to and can take on this complex topic.

But France is "a fine example of how a government can react," says journalist Sascha Lobo. Regardless of the political location. Macon takes steps toward the future based on current knowledge and develops a digital policy vision that goes beyond cable laying or protection against change. Macron explains his AI strategy as "an interdisciplinary cross between mathematics, social sciences, technology, and philosophy, which is absolutely critical."

Macron's announcement comes at a time where other governments are also focusing more on the subject:

Digitalisation has a higher priority in the new federal government than it did years ago. British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to make Britain an important location for artificial intelligence. In Washington, the administration is considering how the United States can defend its leading position, especially towards China. The leadership in Beijing announced an ambitious AI plan last summer with the aim of making the country the leading nation world-wide in this technology by 2030.

AI is a topic that affects us all. It is about time that the heads of state reacted to this. The main challenge of politics is to act "regulatively," that is, to govern society in the era of AI through the establishment, monitoring, and sanctioning of general rules, whether in the form of state regulation through law, self-regulation by associations, or by specifically created new regulatory institutions. Regulatory policy requires "expert knowledge, special technical prerequisites for obtaining and processing information as well as, above all, the ability of conflict regulation and reconciliation of interests".

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