Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri launched Malta’s National AI Strategy during the 2nd edition of DELTA Summit.
“Malta has firmly established itself as a leader in new up-and coming areas such as distributed ledger technology and gained global recognition as ‘The Blockchain Island’. Now, it’s time to put Malta on the map in the fields of Artificial Intelligence,” said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.
The strategy and vision for Artificial Intelligence in Malta therefore aims to ensure that benefits brought about by this next wave of innovation delivers benefits across all segments of Maltese society. The aim is to put Malta amongst the top 10 nations with the highest impact national AI programme.
“Our vision is for Malta to become the ‘Ultimate AI Launchpad’- a place in which local and foreign companies and entrepreneurs can develop, prototype, test and scale AI, and ultimately showcase the value of their innovations across an entire nation primed for adoption. The ambition is to create the conditions for AI to springboard from Malta to the world,” said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.
The National AI Strategy includes more than 70 actions that are set to be implemented by end of 2022. It includes three vertical pillars which focus on boosting investment, innovation and adoption across the public and private sectors and three enablers that cut across the three areas of education and workforce; legal and ethical considerations; and ecosystem infrastructure. The wide-reaching nature of the strategy ensures an inclusive approach that does not leave any segment of society unduly burdened or left behind.
The strategy is aimed to stimulate investment and economic activity from both local and foreign businesses, increased expenditure on Research and Development (R&D) and the creation of new start-up enterprises. Concerning the public sector are six AI pilot projects over the coming three years. The projects span from traffic management, healthcare, education, customer service, tourism and utilities and we expect many more will be identified in the years to come. On the other hand, for the private sector actions in this respect include awareness and knowledge building campaigns, and various support measures to provide technological expertise and guidance, toolkits and financial support.
During the launch of Malta’s National AI Strategy, Parliamentary Secretary Schembri launched the world’s first national AI certification programme. “This programme aims to provide applicants with valuable recognition in the marketplace that their AI systems have been developed in an ethically aligned, transparent and socially responsible manner,” said the Parliamentary Secretary.
He added that at the core of Malta’s AI Strategy is a strong ethical AI framework and it is a core component of our national AI strategy. It is a document which builds on the work of various international bodies and organisations and establishes a set of guiding principles to guide AI practitioners on how to develop robust control frameworks for ethical and trustworthy AI.
“We are committed to putting Malta on the global AI map, and look forward to your support and collaboration in achieving this vision,” said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.