Chancellor Merkel & the German government announced it's plans for a national A.I strategy, unifying all R&D activities to meet growing challenges posed especially by China: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/unternehmen/kuenstliche-intelligenz-so-will-merkel-china-die-stirn-bieten-15555143.html (DE only) A few brief comments:
Highly ironic choice of image in this article, KUKA Robotics (Germany's leading robot maker) was acquired by the Chinese in 2016. Fascinating to hear Chancellor Merkel specifically talk about the Chinese as primary competitive threat in the AI race - but no the US. What is that about?
Germany and Europe have a unique opportunity when it comes to AI in combination with it's mission to become the world's first 100% renewable economy. The scale of the population (508m people), high education levels and strong industrial base are promising.
Yet in reality, the EU tech sector has been dysfunctional for years. Driven by utopian promises, EU decision makers allowed US corps to dominate the market - taking 100% of user data, while paying close to 0% tax. Such predatory behaviour makes domestic innovation impossible.
Despite such adversarial conditions, there is a real sense of hope in the EU tech scene today. The large US tech companies are under tremendous pressures (privacy, anti-compete, tax, etc.), and local innovation is strong (IP/Talent/Diversity/Continental collaboration). Onwards!