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World Summit AI brings 200 speakers, 6000 enthusiasts to Zaandam

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The third edition of World Summit AI is being held in Zaandam on Wednesday and Thursday. Two hundr

NLTimes

The third edition of World Summit AI is being held in Zaandam on Wednesday and Thursday. Two hundred leaders in the artificial intelligence field gather to discuss their experiences with and visions for the future of this technology. The summit is expected to attract some 6 thousand visitors.

Prince Constantijn, the Netherlands' startup and tech ambassador, opened the event on Wednesday. According to the Prince, around the world people are skeptical about AI, worrying that they will lose their jobs to the technology, that it can be used in the wrong way. Which is why people in the AI field need to take a responsible attitude so that the tech can be "applied for the good of humanity", he said. "Amsterdam is really turning into a dynamic AI hub", he said, welcoming the guests. "Make AI a force for good, enjoy your stay and ignore the weather."

Marc Carrel-Billiard, Global Senior Managing Director of Accenture Labs, Accenture and one of the speakers at the event, agrees with the Prince that many people are hesitant or even scared AI. Which is why Accenture doesn't use the phrase 'artificial intelligence', instead calling it applied intelligence or digital intelligence, he said. Accenture predicts that AI will have a 14 trillion dollar impact by 2035, affecting 16 industries, especially asset management, financial crime detection, healthcare, supply chain, revenue, forecasting, and customer engagement. 

The 200 AI leaders spearheading the discussions at the Summit include representatives from TomTom, Amazon, Google, Baidu, Facebook, Alibaba and Uber. A full list of the speakers can be found here.

Sara Porter, founder of InspiredMinds and another speaker at World Summit AI, said in a recent interview: "Word Summit AI brings together the entire ecosystem in AI. A multidisciplinary perspective is now critical in the application of AI in business, society and every aspect of our lives. World Summit AI has addressed this by introducing the global leaders from government, business, academia, technology, science and the startup/emerging tech community - it is this perspective that makes World Summit AI the most important powerhouse of a summit this year."

The night before the summit started, State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs and Climate - also a speaker at the summit - announced that the Netherlands will invest heavily in artificial intelligence in the coming years. This year the government is already pushing 64 million euros into AI, and that amount will double next year, NU.nl reports. This money must firstly be used to increase knowledge in AI, and to ensure that human rights are safeguarded in the development of the tech. The government is therefore commissioning a study into the impact of AI on public values. 

In an AI action plan presented on Tuesday, Keijzer said she wants to urge Dutch companies to accelerate when it comes to the development of artificial intelligence. She therefore plans to make more funds and financing available to startups and SMEs on this front. According to the State Secretary, public and private investment must grow to 2 billion euros over the next seven years in order for the Netherlands to remain competitive with other AI countries. 

"AI is already radically changing our world", the action plan reads. "We must ensure that we are not outlived by this technology, but make it work for us. With this coordinated government approach, we lay the foundation for a good contribution from AI to our society, jobs and income, and we ensure that the Netherlands remains an innovative leader."


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