The discussion on the first day of the conference focused on the topic of supply chain security, while the panels on the second day looked closely at digital technologies such as AI and at how to secure data flows in and outside the EU.
The event represents a clear sign of the Czech Presidency’s commitment to seek progress in the field of digitalisation and AI applications, with a specific focus on the need for clearer regulatory frameworks and ensuring that innovative potential is unlocked and not constrained.
Of particular relevance, moreover, was the emphasis put on the need for stakeholders to share best practices and success stories in the field of AI applications. Accordingly, Mrs Cécile Huet (Head of Unit Robotics, Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Excellence - DG CNECT) might indeed represent an interesting candidate for outreach in future engagement activities with the Commission.
Panel 1- Facing Challenges: Safe and Secure Artificial Intelligence
- All speakers agreed on the importance of involving stakeholders in the process of developing regulatory frameworks for AI, which would ensure citizens’ trust in AI-driven systems.
- To this end, Cécile Huet (Head of Unit Robotics, Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Excellence - DG CNECT), encouraged stakeholders to participate in the standardization process and share their best practices. Furthermore, Mrs. Huet highlighted the value of sharing with the public success stories in the field of AI applications whilst keeping in mind the limitation of such systems.
- Mrs. Huet also recalled the current efforts put in place to pave the path to digital innovation and AI application, both at EU and national levels. These would include:
Panel 3 - Cross-border data flows for the EU´s digital future
- Panellists highlighted one of the main challenges for cross-border data flows, most notably the lack of a consistent regulatory framework among Member States and across the globe.
- Emphasis has been put on the need to ensure that future legislation does not constrain innovation but instead creates business opportunities. The European Health Data Space has been mentioned as an important initiative in this sense, in particular for the development of personalised therapies (e.g., gene therapies) as highlighted by Ruth Berry (Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Information and Communications Policy - US Department of State).
- To this regard, panellists have stressed the challenges related to the interoperability between the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other international models of data protection.
- Mrs. Berry recalled the Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, recently translated into executive order by President Biden on 7 October. More specifically, Mrs. Berry stressed how the Executive Order introduces new binding safeguards limiting access to EU data by US intelligence services and establishing a Data Protection Review Court. On this basis, the European Commission will produce an adequate decision and initiate the adoption procedure.