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Trakai, Lithuania — photo by @maksimshutov

Lithuanian Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2019

In April 2019 Lithuania Published Their AI Strategy and This is a Summary

This is a short summary of the Lithuanian Artificial Intelligence Strategy: A Vision of the Future published in April 2019.

  • The industry portion mainly focused on the artificial intelligence industry itself. In total, there were 39 SMEs engaged in AI product research and delivery. 89% of these were engaged in B2B product delivery.
  • In the period between 2015 and 2018, public sector investment in AI was more significant than private sector with a total of EUR 26.5 million and EUR 3.2 million respectively. In total 39 different AI projects received funding from Ministry of Economy and Innovation initiatives, totaling EUR 12.5 million since 2016.
  • Lithuania has an active artificial intelligence community with a handful of regular events and meetups bringing together the professionals working the field. Around 1000–1500 people are attending these events, with 300–500 active working professionals.

1. Ethical and Legal Core Principles in Lithuania Policy Recommendations

  1. To advice the public sector on ethical AI regulation and implementation.
  2. To establish trust in the rules, laws and norms that governs AI.
  3. To encourage transparency and fairness in AI applications.
  4. To encourage ethics by design.

2. Lithuania’s Position in the Global AI Ecosystem

This is done with different approaches or layers.

  • Global Lithuania — The second innermost network seeks to strengthen ties with AI experts in Lithuania’s diaspora.
  • Baltic region — The third innermost network aims to develop and maintain relationships with Lithuania’s neighbors: Latvia and Estonia.
  • Nordic-Baltic region — The first outermost network positions Lithuania with its extended neighbors. This network can similarly be strengthened through more shared initiatives and transfer of knowledge.
  • European Union — The second outermost network identifies Lithuania within the European Union framework and legislation.
  • Global — The third outermost network frames Lithuania within a global context. Lithuania seeks to take an active role in the global artificial intelligence community.

3. Integration of AI Across All Economic Sectors

Private sector is mentioned as leaders with the potential gain for the frontrunners and high expectations from businesses. In public sector they mention (although highly controversial elsewhere) crime prediction; intelligent assistants for citizens; and workflows in government that can be optimised.

  • Agriculture: An area that is often slow to technological advancement, agriculture plays a vital role in the Lithuanian economy.
  • Healthcare: The recent adoption of a national Electronic Health Record system has helped modernize the healthcare system in Lithuania.
  • Transportation: Transportation, especially logistics, is vital to the interworking of the Lithuanian economy. AI systems can automate traffic control and reduce travel times.
  • Energy: The energy sector should utilize AI systems to create more efficient methods for delivering power.
  1. To increase the use of AI systems in the public sector.
  2. To target key economic sectors that will benefit the most from artificial intelligence systems adoption.

4. National Development of AI Skills

  • According to the Automation, skills use and training report done by OECD, in Lithuania the work tasks of the median laborer have a 57% chance of being automated. This positions Lithuania as the second most country with the highest chance of job automation, behind only the Slovak Republic.
  1. In higher education more emphasis should be made on supplemental course work that teaches AI and technologies for students in programs that do not traditionally require it.
  2. To ensure the current labor force has the competencies needed for a shifting job market.

5. AI Research and Development

This section mentions the Chinese government’s New Generation of Artificial Intelligence Development plan that looks to invest US$150 billion in the next few years. They argue that:

“Smaller states do not have the resources to match this level of investment, which is why it is important for them to tailor individual strategies that are more focused and work for them.”

Since 2016, the Lithuanian government financed EUR 12.5 million worth of projects in artificial intelligence systems, which were for private sector organizations creating innovative solutions. In addition, academic research projects in artificial intelligence received EUR 6.5 million.

  1. To create a high-level educational environment that will encourage continued research in AI.

6. A Responsible and Efficient Approach to Data

  1. To ensure that Lithuania’s data meets international standard requirements.

Written by

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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