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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

10 Apr 2018

Open letter calls on EC for better rules on text and data mining

On the occasion of the European Commission's Digital Day 2018, 23 European research-related organisations, institutions and enterprises have signed an open letter to the Commission calling for maximising the benefits of artificial intelligence through future-proof rules on text and data mining. The 23 organisation represent universities (e.g. LERU and the EUA), large and small technology companies (e.g. the European SME Digital Alliance), telecommunications and Internet service providers, startups and scaleups, libraries, scientific and research funding and performing organisations, open access publishers, investigative and data journalists and non-profits.

The signatories state that they fully support the shared ambitions of the European Commission and the Council of the EU to stimulate the development and boost investment into Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Europe, acknowledging the vast potential offered by AI for economic growth and competitiveness in Europe and its benefits in many different sectors, such as e.g. healthcare diagnostics or sustainable energy management. However, they point out that the uptake of AI, machine learning and data analytics in Europe remains limited and lags behind the US and China. The signatories therefore call on the EC to set up the right regulatory and policy framework to encourage European companies to become leaders in AI.

The signatories also point out their concern that, in from their perspective, the EC's draft Communication on AI does not recognise the foundational role that Text and Data Mining (TDM) plays in AI and the fact that the EC is currently pushing for a restrictive TDM exception within the Copyright Directive (the proposed TDM exception only covers non-for-profit and public research institutions, not private companies).

They regard the ongoing efforts of the European Commission on the European Open Science Cloud as playing an important role in safeguarding sustainable access to datasets and thus as a key enabling factor for progress in AI. The open letter therefore calls for any comprehensive European AI strategy to include robust support for TDM in both the public and private industries, in order to make Europea a global leader in AI, and on the EC to adopt a broader TDM exception in its copyright directive. 

The European Commission's AI Strategy is due to be published on 25 April 2018. 

Open letter: Maximising the benefits of Artificial Intelligence through future-proof rules on Text and Data Mining

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