The European Union is targeting $24.4 billion of investment in artificial intelligence by 2020.
Artificial intelligence promises to revolutionise sectors from healthcare to transport to agriculture and Europe is keen not to be left behind in the digital race.
EU Digital Market Commissioner Andrus Ansip said the Commission itself will increase its investment in research and development to $1.8 billion and hopes it will trigger $3 billion more in public and private funding.
Asnip highlighted that the EU needed to catch up, citing a study which said corporate investment in AI stood at up to $4 billion in the EU in 2016, compared to $12 billion in Asia and $23 billion in the US.
“Just as the steam engine and electricity did in the past, AI is transforming our world,” said Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission, on Wednesday.
“Today, we are giving a boost to researchers so that they can develop the next generation of AI technologies and applications, and to companies, so that they can embrace and incorporate them.”
European countries such as France and Britain have already launched iniatiatives prioritising AI. French President Emmanuel Macron promised $1.83 billion of public money for AI in March.
The Commission said its 1.5 billion-euro investment ought to trigger an additional $3.04 billion from existing public-private partnerships such as Big Data and robotics.