AI has an enormous potential. This is nevertheless not quite fully appreciated in the Netherlands, let alone that it’s optimally used. Countries such as China and the US, but for instance the United Kingdom and France as well, are very much investing in an overall approach to AI. France, for instance, has set itself the clear goal of positioning itself (and Europe) in first place between the private 'digital superpowers' from the US and the public superpower China, both from an industrial and commercial perspective.
I believe a national AI strategy is essential to tackle some of the current challenges. The shortage of people with the right knowledge and skills to develop AI solutions, for instance. We should be expanding the capacity of study programs in the field of AI, rather than restricting the number of admissions. I furthermore consider it necessary to create a national data infrastructure, within which data is available to patients, caregivers and citizens in a secure and structured format. Finally, we could do a better job in connecting innovative startups to large corporations. This enables new ideas to be scaled up at a much faster pace. At Philips, we recently launched a program in which we collaborate with startups focusing on AI in the fields of radiology, ultrasound and oncology. We offer them access to our expertise and our partner network to further develop their AI applications as well as test and improve their business models. From among 750 interested startups across the world, 19 were selected for the Startup Program, including 1 from the Netherlands. On December 12, several of these startups will present their inspiring AI solutions during Breakthrough Day in Eindhoven.