Making Malta an A.I. Nation
MALTA.ai Taskforce holds workshop on National A.I. strategy
The Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri, has revealed the first details of Malta’s Artificial Intelligence policy. The proposed policy plan was unveiled during a one-day workshop organised by the Malta.ai Taskforce.
“Malta aspires to become a place in which local and foreign companies and entrepreneurs can develop, prototype, test and scale AI, and ultimately showcase the value from their innovations across an entire nation primed for adoption. Our ambition is to create the conditions for AI to a springboard from Malta to the world”, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.
The taskforce, which launched last November, was created to devise a National A.I. Strategy for the islands, with the aim of positioning Malta amongst the top 10 nations with leading national A.I. programmes. The taskforce hopes to secure its position through three main strategic pillars, namely: Investment, Start-ups and Innovation, Public and Private Sector Adoption. Its strategy is also bolstered by three enablers, Education and Workforce, a Legal and Ethical Framework and Ecosystem Infrastructure.
Investment, Start-ups and Innovation
- Making Malta a centre of excellence and a technological hub for A.I
- Attracting leading A.I companies and investors to set up shop on the Islands
- Raise awareness and visability of the Maltese A.I. sector
- Support local start-up activity
Public Sector Adoption
- Government leads the way in showcasing benefits of A.I through the provision of enhanced services
- Improving economic and social wellbeing of Malta
- Enhancing the internal operations of the Public Service Sector
Private Sector Adoption
- Encourage SMEs to embrace and adopt A.I.
- Support and help for local businesses to use A.I.
- Building trust in how A.I. works in terms of accountability and transparency
“Our aim is to create an AI-powered government and to do so will assess a number of use cases for public sector applications. These A.I. use cases will be clearly defined and then assessed against criteria that will consider operational, economic, financial, legal and regulatory aspects, with a view of identifying the projects that can generate the biggest local impact. These projects will be gradually implemented as pilot projects with a view of later rolling them out across the nation”, explained the Parliamentary Secretary.
He added that this pillar will ensure capacity and capability building and knowledge transfer within the public sector, address training needs, help drive a cultural shift, change management and will also seek to encourage the procurement of smart technology-based solutions with the Public Service.
In this respect, the Education and Workforce Enabler will examine how best to equip, re-skill and upskill workers across every sector of society, laying solid foundations for an Malta’s education system to evolve within the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As part of the move to embrace A.I. technology, there will be a focus on the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in Education, solidifying Malta as a welcoming base for A.I. researchers and graduates and facilitating collaboration between the Industry and Educational institutes.
The second enabler focuses on building a Legal and Ethical framework, which will focus on adapting current legislation to embrace A.I applications and ensure the ethical, transparent and unbiased use of A.I. To this end the development of a National Ethics Framework will take priority.
The third enabler, an Ecosystem Infrastructure, is aimed at designing a future-proof technology roadmap and data infrastructure that will allow AI to flourish.
The Parliamentary Secretary explained that the document will be open for public consultation until the 22nd of April. “This document sets out the vision and the guiding areas which the Malta AI Task Force believes will shape the strategy. Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback over the next months. In addition to this, the Task Force together with the working groups will continue to meet key stakeholders to get their insights as the strategy is built out”, said Silvio Schembri.
The Malta AIBC Summit 2019 will delve into this topic in more detail during its conferences later this year. Be sure to register now and save a seat at the event.