If AI Startups Behave, the EU Rewards

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The EU announced an initiative granting AI startups access to its high-performance computers for model training.

  • Access to HPC is contingent upon AI startups voluntarily committing to the EU’s AI governance principles.
  • Access to supercomputing power accelerates AI development, attracting global attention, positioning the EU as a frontrunner in AI innovation.

On September 13th, the EU announced a new initiative giving AI startups access to its high-performance computers (HPC) to train their models.

This access is under the stipulation that the companies adhere to the EU’s AI governance framework.

In her State of the Union Address, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen affirmed Europe’s leadership in supercomputing. As things stand, the region possesses three of the five most powerful supercomputers in the world.

“We need to capitalize on this,” von der Leyen said. “This is why I can announce today a new initiative to open up our high-performance computers to AI start-ups to train their models.”

She did stipulate that these ‘ethical and responsible‘ AI startups “voluntarily commit to the principles of the AI Act before it comes into force.”

The EU is presently in the process of implementing comprehensive legislation for AI governance, known as the AI Act. Previous EU AI safety efforts focused on theoretical concerns. However, this legislation addresses real-world risks associated with automation, bias, discrimination, and disinformation.

President von der Leyen also proposed the establishment of a body like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This one would provide policymakers with research and expert advice on the risks and benefits of AI.

The EU also worked with US lawmakers on a AI Code of Conduct Act draft which recently culminated in the G7’s commitment to it. The Act would include commitments from companies to take steps stopping potential AI-induced societal harm, among other preventatives.

Opening up its HPC infrastructure to AI startups would enable them to significantly reduce the time required for AI model training, from months or years to just days or weeks. Now, whether accelerating the development is a wise idea…

On the same day, Thierry Breton, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner, took to LinkedIn to elaborate on this initiative. He stated that the initiative would identify the most promising European AI startups and grant them access to the supercomputing capacity. This access aims to accelerate the responsible development and scaling of AI technologies in line with European values.

If all goes according to plan and intent, the startups will get access to a God-tier power-up, which would speed up their work. It would, ultimately, allow them to place their products on the market sooner than expected. A true race.

 This initiative also places the EU at the forefront of AI development as it would not only attract startups from all corners of the world but also venture capitalists and other investors. Moths to a rather very bright flame.

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