Malta to publish national AI policy

(source: Unsplash/Alex Knight)

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Malta AI, a government task force, will publish a high-level artificial intelligence (AI) policy at a public consultation workshop on 21 March, according to a press statement on the official website of Malta AI. The policy aims to set out the areas of focus that will underpin the strategic objectives and considerations for putting Malta at the forefront of AI progress.

The task force is currently working on a strategy, which will aim to maximise the social and economic benefits brought about by AI. “Risks will be mitigated by ensuring that no parts of society are forgotten, with a strong legal and ethical framework being designed to enhance business and citizen trust in AI and its application,” the press statement says.

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“The country will continue its strong tradition of using regulation as a key differentiator, by developing a robust and innovative legal and ethical framework to support its ambition and build trust and transparency in the way the technology will be deployed,” the press statement adds. The ethical framework which Malta is developing will take account of the Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence issued in December 2018 by the EU High-Level Expert Group on AI.

In November 2018, Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, laid out the Maltese government’s vision to put the country among the top ten nations with the highest impact national AI programme.

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Although AI is becoming an increasingly disruptive force, the technology is nascent and developing, with many advancements being in their early stages. Yet, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has numerously stated that Malta aspires to take the lead and become a disrupter and a trendsetter in terms of AI, similarly to efforts made in the blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs).