CLAIRE is a European initiative in the field of Artificial Intelligence to bring research, industry, and civic partners closer together, to represent common interests, and to make policy proposals at the European and national levels. CLAIRE has grown rapidly since its establishment last summer and now relies on a strong network of supporters and research institutes across Europe. The next steps include transitioning the initiative to an organization with the appropriate structures to better meet the challenges expressed in the CLAIRE vision: “Excellence across all of AI — for all of Europe — with a human-centred focus.” In addition to headquarters, several CLAIRE offices, national and regional competence centers for AI as well as a CLAIRE hub, as central point of contact in Europe, should be established. The cooperation of research and industry is very important for the further development of the initiative. Consequently, we invite the industry partners of DFKI to learn about the cooperation opportunities with CLAIRE and look forward to your visit with us at Stand C59, in Hall 2 at the Hannover Messe.
The fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is exerting more and more influence as a global game-changer can no longer be denied. It is already fundamentally changing the way we live and work and, as an engine of innovation, driving future growth and competitiveness.
“AI Made in Europe"
To prevent Europe from falling behind in the global AI race, the CLAIRE initiative (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe) was launched in June 2018. The starting point was the development of “A European Vision for AI,” which involved more than 600 leading scientists and the major stakeholders in the field of AI. Prof. Philipp Slusallek, site manager at DFKI Saarbrücken and head of DFKI's Agents and Simulated Reality department, is one of the three founding members and has ensured that DFKI has remained part of the core team since the beginning.
The essential focus of the initiative is on ensuring that Artificial Intelligence puts people first. The aim of CLAIRE is to create a network that brings together the major stakeholders in research, industry, government, and society across Europe to jointly produce “AI made in Europe” based on the scientific and industrial excellence of Europe. Of critical concern from the start was the need to consider basic European values to facilitate building trust in a technology still viewed with much skepticism.
CLAIRE has since gained well over 2,700 individual supporters, while at the same time providing a growing media presence. CLAIRE is meanwhile the central contact partner – both for the European Commission and for the national governments. More than 240 research institutes from all over Europe are now partners (see claire-ai.org/network) and together with supporters, form the ever-expanding CLAIRE network.
Major Goals of CLAIRE
The CLAIRE network offers partners an ideal forum for defining the fundamental issues for AI research, discussing the most promising approaches, and then taking them on together through appropriate collaboration and joint projects. The CLAIRE Competence Centers will be strategically located across Europe to provide members of the network with a central contact point in their region. In contrast, the CLAIRE Hub will be the central facility and provides a tangible center of activity within the network. The best researchers at all career levels will be able to work for defined periods, for example, as part of a research project with partnering organizations from the scientific and business communities or to participate in scientific exchange. The aim is not only to create a large AI community, but also a "trademark" for AI made in Europe (similar to the very successful CERN in physics). With adequate conference space and a unique data and computing infrastructure along with well-equipped test labs, Europe will be well-positioned to tackle even the major challenges of AI.
The first steps have already been taken in the transition from an informal initiative to an organization with legal standing. The headquarters in Den Haag is currently under construction; two additional locations are operating in Saarbrücken and Oslo. Additional offices and staff will be gradually established in other European cities.
An important component in promoting the vision of the network and ensuring an initiative that serves the best interests of the public are the semi-annual CLAIRE symposia. The basic themes and the main components of CLAIRE were agreed at the first symposium in Brussels. The participants were enthusiastic about the opportunity to be a part of the common effort and the comprehensive strategic concept for AI in Europe (claire-ai.org/symposium). The second CLAIRE Symposium was held in Rome on February 27, 2019. Discussions centered on the further elaboration of the organization, the selection criteria for the regional competence centers and the CLAIRE hub, in addition to how to best integrate industry in the network.
In addition, a workshop attended by the best AI researchers in Europe was held with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the topic “Earth-Observation,” where the challenges and joint solutions in this area of application were discussed. Other topics of interest to the industrial and social communities will be the subject of future workshops.
Industry's key role
The Industry is an important cooperation partner and a key element in the effort to make the vision of "AI made in Europe" a reality. Top notch research alone is not sufficient to successfully establish innovations in the market. New technologies will only serve to benefit humankind if they are tailored to the specific needs of the respective target group. In this process, government, society and, in particular, businesses all have a pivotal role to play. The sooner these stakeholders are involved in the discussion and the development of new research subjects and technologies, the more fitting the solutions will be later down the line.
Together for Europe
Every new project poses challenges for its members. Members with many different roles will be needed to implement the project, if it is one as visionary as CLAIRE. Only if research, industry, government, and society are all pulling in the same direction and cooperating with one another, can we be sure that human-centric AI will be based on European values and norms and contribute to prosperity throughout Europe.
The participation of CLAIRE at the Hannover Messe 2019 presents an excellent opportunity for research and industry to gather information and make new contacts. Become part of the CLAIRE network at an early stage and make a significant contribution to shaping the future of human-centric AI for Europe. We look forward to welcoming you at the DFKI stand C59 in Hall 2!