Dutch government pledges $222M for AI innovation

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The government of the Netherlands will set aside 204.5 million euros ($222.07 million), according to a Jan. 18 announcement from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The funds aim to foster local investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and help the Netherlands “not to remain stuck on the sidelines” when it comes to AI.

The announcement states that Asia and the United States have taken the lead in the use of responsible generative AI, with the Dutch government aiming to position the Netherlands and the European Union competitively and set the course for developing the technology.

Screenshot of the Dutch government’s announcement on its AI vision. Source: Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations

The government also plans to organize campaigns to educate people on protecting data from generative AI. There is also an ongoing inquiry into creating a secure and functional national AI testing facility for public use.

The announcement outlined the government’s strategy for taking advantage of generative AI systems like ChatGPT while protecting against the risks of misinformation and reduction in job opportunities. The Netherlands would also begin adhering to the EU’s AI Act, which regulates the governmental use of AI and sets rules to follow before market entry.

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In December 2023, the European Parliament and Council reached a deal on a risk-based model for regulating AI, but some details are still being hammered out, and it has not yet been formally enacted. 

The Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Robbert Dijkgraaf, said, “The essence is to develop and to retain AI talent, to allow us to develop forms of generative AI that satisfy the standards and values of Europe.”

According to Dijkgraaf, the government is also considering investing in significant scientific and technological resources, such as supercomputers, for both the Netherlands and the EU: “We are also considering investments in large-scale scientific and technological infrastructure, such as supercomputers and computing power, both at national and EU level. This will enable us to remain competitive in the field of LLMs [large language models] and other forms of generative AI.”

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