Jessica Vermeer
10 October

Over 65 companies, social organizations and research institutions on 8 October launched the Dutch AI Coalition (NL AIC). The parties want the Netherlands to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to artificial intelligence. The participants include Albert Heijn, Booking, Google, IBM, KLM, KPN, Microsoft, Philips, Shell, TNO and Unilever.

Simultaneously, the Dutch government presented the Strategic Action Plan AI (SAPAI). This plan focuses on taking advantage of opportunities in AI and includes funding for researchers and entrepreneurs. It also discusses essential requirements for a successful application of AI, like education, data usage, digital infrastructure and the protection of civil rights.

This year, the cabinet is investing 64 million euros in AI. The ambition is to double the government funding and to reach applicable solutions. The public-private coalition is aiming at an investment of two billion euros in seven years.

NL AIC’s targets include forming a national knowledge and innovation network connecting all AI initiatives – from both companies and research institutions. It looks to get funding for about 400 additional researchers and for projects in which the Netherlands can distinguish itself on an international level. Furthermore, there are plans to reel in a leading European center for AI research.

The strategy’s basis is respect for human rights. The contributing parties are, for example, looking at the prevention of discrimination within AI. According to the coalition, the Netherlands and Europe are well-positioned to distinguish themselves with an approach in which public values, civil rights and the human factor feature prominently.