Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Five Dutch companies Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM, NS and Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) aim to further boost the AI ecosystem in the Netherlands by accelerating and promoting the development of AI technology and nurturing AI talent in the country. This effort will add educational capacity, foster the development of the AI community in the Netherlands and reiterate the position of the Netherlands as a competitive and relevant global AI hub.
The goal of Kickstart AI, is to bridge the AI gap between the Netherlands and other countries, like the UK, the US and China, that have made notable progress in this area. In order to keep the country’s position as a pioneer and inventor of technologies, the Dutch government, companies, organizations and universities have ground to cover in terms of structural investments and availability of global AI talent. The five companies “kickstarting” AI are, for the first time, uniting forces in this kind of joint initiative and taking highly needed decisive action.
The five companies initiating Kickstart AI are calling for the critical expansion of local knowledge and talent in order to ethically implement AI that is focused not only on what is technically possible but also meeting the ethical and social standards the Dutch society may expect. Collaboration among these five companies, the government, industry and other tech providers will help address societal challenges, provide new opportunities for the youth and accelerate the introduction of AI in the Netherlands. For consumers, AI has untapped potential to help improve their daily lives by elevating their experience with personalized service, convenience and choices in many areas of life such as food, travel, health and finances.
Initiatives under Kickstart AI include:
1. AI superchallenges: Competitions aimed at raising the Netherlands’ global profile by mobilizing global AI talent to address societal challenges for example in the areas of health and mobility.
2. Joint appointments: Investing in private-public collaboration through joint appointments of academic staff, providing access for the next generation of AI talent to education, training and leading academics. First commitment is to create 5 joint appointments to academic institutions in the Netherlands by each of the frontrunner companies in Kickstart AI, adding up to 25 positions in total.
3. Dutch national course for AI: As part of a wider effort to increase understanding and adoption of AI in the Netherlands, Kickstart AI companies will not only promote the national course for AI among the general public and their own workforces, but also offer the course in English, therewith aiming to secure sign-ups from a total of 170,000 people in the Netherlands by the end of 2020.