Artificial intelligence the focus of Cabinet's new digital strategy

Ridderhof, Parliament, The Hague
The Ridderzaal at night, in the Binnenhof parliamentary complex in The Hague. Sept. 26, 2015mandritoiuDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

More state investment will be set aside for artificial intelligence going forward, the cabinet announced on Thursday. Part of the government's newly-published Dutch Digitalisation Strategy, the investment strategy aims to ensure that the Netherlands retains its position as a digital frontrunner in Europe, according to the cabinet.

The Dutch AI Coalition, which was launched in October of 2019 and contains 350 members, received a cash injection of 23.5 million euros on Thursday to in order to research and develop artificial intelligence technologies, the Cabinet announced, adding that the 64 million euros invested in the coalition in 2019 will be doubled this year.

A statement on the government website explains the reason new interest in AI technologies. "To keep the Netherlands as the digital leader of Europe, companies, consumers and governments will have to react quicker and be more innovative to the high speeds that society and the economy is digitalizing," the Cabinet stated.

"AI promises, provided that people can trust that it will be used carefully, that it is an important basis for innovation in care, energy, mobility, agriculture and food, manufacturing and education. That is why research into ethical, legal and social aspects for the responsible application of AI is also an important goal of this coalition," the Cabinet went on.

Ultimately, the government hopes the public-private investment in the new technology will reach as high as 2 billion euros in seven years, according to the statement.