Romania has the potential of a global leader. In what area? Artificial intelligence. When? When planning and investing strategically. What stops it? The lack of initiative and vision.
It may be unrealistic for a country that is at the bottom of the EU rankings to have such dreams of greatness. And yet, advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence can provide this perspective. The ranking of the countries with the highest GDP indicates the order of the largest economies but does not tell us which countries have potential in the area of Artificial Intelligence. While countries such as the US, China, and Japan have already started patenting products in Artificial Intelligence technology, the competition is open to smaller countries such as Romania.
The growth potential brought by AI
But how is Artificial Intelligence objectified and why would we be interested in developing it? The most popularized applications of Artificial Intelligence are those of software such as virtual or box assistants, voice assistants, facial and vocal recognition, search engines. However, there is an incorporation of Artificial Intelligence in hardware devices such as drones, robots, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
The human mind has limitations in carrying out fast and complex calculations, in discovering new things, subjectivity limitations, as well as social conditioning of knowledge. Integrating this technology into people’s lives would accelerate the transfer of information from one system to another, would bring self-improvements, would facilitate cooperation, improve communication and knowledge transfer.
Romania, 50th in the world in innovation
The world order in business can be changed if the states have a strategy in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The growth factors of an economy are high demographics, high productivity, and technological innovation. Given that in Romania, the demographic increase is negative and productivity has an insufficient growth rate, the only option for accelerated growth to recover the development gaps remains innovation.
At this moment the technology that has an exponential growth factor is artificial intelligence. Can Romania use this technology?
Beyond declarations of intent, let’s start from realities: Romania ranks 50th in the world in the global ranking of innovation with a score of 37.76 out of 100. Broken down this index is made up of relevant areas of innovation where Romania occupies the following places: institutions 52nd place, technical infrastructure 35th place, market sophistication 92nd place, business environment sophistication 51st place, creative production 71st place, human capital, and research 69th place and knowledge and technology production 41st place.
With only 0.5% of GDP allocated to research, Romania ranks 64th in this area, while education has 3.1% of GDP and ranks 99th in the world in terms of budgetary allocation and 82nd. at the level of performance.
Taking into account the ranking by domains and the amounts allocated to education and research, a performance in itself can be considered the 50th rank in the world in terms of innovation. Therefore, taken separately it is difficult for Romania to count, but together with EU members, it can have an important say.
The Artificial Intelligence in Europe
Last week, the European Commission presented a reflection paper on the impact of Artificial Intelligence and public policy options that support a regulatory-based and investment-oriented approach. The document complements the European strategy called “Artificial Intelligence in Europe”.
In global competition, it is normal for the EU to have high ambitions in this disruptive field. As in many situations, at a community level, a coordinated approach is needed and here Romania can play a very important role.
Romania has the potential of a project leader if it supports its cause in the European decision-making forums. A European cluster in Romania for the development of Artificial Intelligence is a goal that involves the allocation of funds aligned to public policies, supports the IT industry and stimulates research cooperation between the relevant universities.
The Măgurele laser is an example of the success that gives us confidence that such ambitious projects are possible. Romania has the potential of a leader in the field if it synchronizes its national initiative with the European strategy on Artificial Intelligence. It’s Romania’s chance! It could increase the income level and quality of life for Romanians. It is the shortcut that a country of the size of Romania can access to catch up with the historical gaps in the areas on which the competitiveness of the country depends. It is a “now or never” that calls for initiative, development, and progress.