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AI for a better future

Address by Minister of Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup on the occasion of the State visit to Norway of HE Mr Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia.

Your Excellency,
Your Majesties,
Ministers,
Distinguished guests,

I am honored to be speaking to you today. My name is Nikolai Astrup, and I am the Norwegian Minister of Digitalisation.

The slogan of SINTEF is "technology for a better future". And as one of Europes largest independent research organisations, SINTEF does a lot of great work towards that aim.

I have heard people say that the technological development has never been as rapid as today. I think it is just as true to say that never again will development be as slow as it is today.

Technology is evolving at an almost unfathomable pace. What was impossible, or even unthinkable, a few decades ago, is no longer utopia. Rapid technological developments make huge differences in our lives and in society.

An example of such a technology is artificial intelligence, which is also one of the main topics of the business seminar that SINTEF is hosting later today.

I believe that artificial intelligence is the one emerging technology that may revolutionize how we deliver public services, operate our industries, and make our cities smart in order to meet UN sustainable development goals.

Norway is currently working on a national strategy for AI that will be finalised by the end of the year. The strategy will address both the opportunities that artificial intelligence provides, but also ethical issues, privacy and ICT security.

Norway is well positioned to take advantage of AI, but in the context of AI development we – like Slovenia – is a small country.

We need to work together in the EU and EEA to ensure that Europe and European values are central in shaping the use of AI. In our opinion, the proposed etichs guidelines from the EU High Level Expert Group is a very good basis for ensuring European values for AI.

Data is essential to the development of AI. In order to ensure that Europe reap the benefits of the growing data economy, we need to be able to share data freely across borders within the EEA and remove unjustified localisation requirements.

As minister of digitalisation, one of my core responsibilities is to follow up the Norwegian government's ambitious digital agenda, and to prepare Norway to handle future challenges. I am looking forward to facing these challenges together.

Thank you SINTEF for arranging such an interesting event.

Thank you!

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