The European Defence Agency has set its sights on developing artificial intelligence (AI) to strengthen the EU’s defence forces in the near future. This is in line with calls from Germany in May to create a European Defence Union within the next ten years.
The initiative will encourage cross-border collaboration in exploring the military options that AI has to offer. The goal is to increase the military independence of the EU.
The EDA’s head of Technology and Innovation, Panagiotas Kikiras, admits that using AI for defence purposes is not a new development. “We have avoided jumping on these trends by taking a very cautious approach,” he told the magazine of the European Defence Agency.
Kirikas stated that recent developments have now provided more possibilities for military uses of AI.
The European Defence Agency will make use of primarily European AI-research. In the process, a common ‘technical language’ will be compiled to make sure that all researchers can communicate in the same terms. This is essential for enabling more scientific cooperation.
One of the EDA’s concrete aims is to form a ‘data lake’ of less sensitive and anonymous military data. Research and technology organisations, SMEs and large industry will be granted access to this information. These partners will then be able to develop new AI solutions based on the data sets.
The plans, which are part of the EDA’s new AI action plan, will be formally approved by the end of 2020.