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The State of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Navigating Through Innovation and Regulation

Written

Feb. 8, 2024

Author

Alise Munson

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Artificial Intelligence is the new black. With more than 180.5 million people already integrating ChatGPT into their toolbox, we are witnessing the beginning of a new automated reality that is bigger than a helpful chatbot.

To learn more about this new frontier, we hosted "The State of AI" with partners from KI Park, Hessian.ai, and EDITH, along with three keynote speakers and a live panel discussion.

Event Highlights and Expert Insights

The event showcased insights from two keynote speakers: Legal Expert Dr. Benedikt Flöter, Associated Partner IP/IT at YPOG, and Emily Jane Ryan, Head of Customer Engineering for Startups at Google.

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Dr. Benedikt Flöter from YPOG

Will AI Regulations Cause a European Brain Drain?

During his keynote, Dr. Flöter shined a light on some questions about the new regulations and their effect on European startups, coincidentally on the evening before the EU policymakers green-lit the AI Act.

About two-thirds of companies expect a negative impact from the AI Act. It's estimated that around 12% of startups could move to the US to escape EU regulation

The issue is that most of these companies, once they leave, won't be able to do business in Europe without complying with the AI Act rules. The result, though, might not be a loss, but rather a potential.

"At its core, the AI Act has positive value. We need human input and control," Dr. Flöter said. Data transparency, an open-source mentality, and smart regulations could lead to European companies being known for their high standards of quality in AI products - much like the perception that wine and chocolate made in Europe are the best in the world.

Plus, EU countries will have room to influence how the AI law will be implemented.

Preparing for the AI Act

"The AI Act overall has a good purpose but is complicated in the details." Luckily, the details are being finalized slowly and are expected to be implemented by summer 2026. Startups and businesses have a little time to prepare.

Here are Dr. Flöter's final tips on how:

  • The Act comes with a broad scope of applicability. Plan for no AI outsourcing, no off-shore training of large language models (LLMs).
  • Check risk categories - The scope of High-Risk AI is broader than you might think.
  • Set up Quality and Risk Management Systems.
  • Undertake a Gap Analysis.

Navigating the AI Era

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Emily Jane Ryan

We are in a new AI transformation era that is going way faster than we expected.

Ms. Ryan dubbed 2024 "The Year of the Developer." For startups, this could be good news.

Founders who started using AI tools before the curve began to bend skyward will have a foundation in place as more possibilities emerge. Startups that are now forming can be a one-person business with AI as their only coworker.

She also highlighted more trends for 2024:

  • The focus will be on data - Foundational models are accessible to everyone, but successful founders will need to add value with proprietary data and/or product workflows.
  • Governance - There is a need for guidelines to protect and vet data.
  • It won't be about picking a model, but about picking an agile platform.
  • Capability and sustainability - Computations require a lot of energy, so companies need to think about their environmental impact. Google aims to be carbon-free by 2030.
  • Back-office productivity - These tools are low-hanging fruit, but 2024 will reveal what is next.

More from the Stage

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The third keynote speaker was Sebastian Schäfer from 27pilots. His advice for startups?

  1. Build on open-source foundational models and focus on your key uniqueness
  2. Ride on the AI hype wave and secure VC funding to scale
  3. Ventures Client use case will be the no. 1 way to test and scale for startups
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Part of the evening’s dive into the State of AI included a panel discussion with Jeanette Bouffier, Co-Founder Teresa.AI; Shannon Kehoe, Director of AI Cleverbridge and Marko Petzold, CEO and Founder Record Evolution. Christine von Heydenaber, Venture Development Manager KI Park,  moderated.

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Straight from the Source

To round out the learnings, we asked the popular expert – ChatGPT - for its 2024 European predictions.

  • Increased AI Regulation and Compliance Measures: As the EU's AI regulatory framework continues to evolve, particularly with the anticipated implementation of the AI Act, companies will be under greater pressure to comply with new rules. This may lead to a surge in demand for compliance tools and AI solutions that are designed to adhere to stricter privacy, transparency, and ethical standards.
  • Growth in AI Ethics and Trustworthiness: Ethics in AI will become a central concern for European AI ventures. With the EU's focus on trustworthy AI, we can expect a rise in the number of AI ethics officers and departments within organizations. Furthermore, AI systems could be rated or certified based on their ethical implications and impact, leading to a more standardized approach to ethical AI across the continent.
  • Advancement in AI-Driven Sustainability Initiatives: Europe may lead the way in using AI to tackle climate change and environmental issues, aligning with the European Green Deal. Innovations in AI will likely be directed towards energy efficiency, reducing carbon footprints, and supporting sustainable practices across industries. This could also see increased investment in AI research and applications that support these goals.

More

If AI is your passion or just your curiousity, you can watch for more events and programs from KI Park, Hessian.ai, EDITH and us, TechQuartier. Sign up for newsletters and keep learning.