AI Austria monthly: December Update
Economics of AI event recap, upcoming 8th European AI forum, new funding programs by aws, a new book release & much more
With freshly fallen snow, December's bitter cold is softened by the warm glow of festive lights and inviting ambiance. On the AI regulatory playing field, animated discussions unfold, contrasting sharply with the serene winter landscape. Heated debates on the AI Act, in particular how to govern foundation models, are the main topic of the past weeks. This week, the final trilogue negotiation session is scheduled for TODAY, 6 December and we will find out, if we make it 👼or break 👹 it on the AI Act …
🚀 Latest Developments
🔥Trilogue Trauma on FMs/GPAIMs - will we make it?
One thing is clear - the speed on AI governance is picking up globally, with the US working through the Executive Order of US President Biden, evaluating standards, setting up talent retention and attraction programs and raising the claim to lead AI standardization and governance globally. Also, UK is on the map collaborating with the US to develop AI safety standards. And Europe - we have started the AI governance journey first, in 2018 (!) and may now be overtaken shortly before the finish line due to struggles to find a political compromise for addressing foundation models (FMs) / general purpose AI models (GPAIMs).
The past weeks of the trilogues on the AI Act have been overloaded with proposals, calls to action and non-papers on the topic of how to govern FMs / GPAIMs. A non-paper by the governments of France, Germany and Italy even advocated for the controversial concept of ‘mandatory self-regulation’, largely rejected by the overall AI community. As the conclusive negotiation round has come today on St. Nicholas Day, the fate of the AI Act will be revealed: will it emerge as the groundbreaking regulatory gift beneath the Christmas tree, or will three years of effort and aspirations dissipate like smoke up the chimney due to an unsuccessful political agreement?
We at AI Austria believe in the need to create a level-playing field for AI development, deployment and use in Europe with an AI governance framework that provides clarity and legal certainty for all stakeholders and promotes innovation. Our fingers are crossed. » Read the statement of the European AI Forum here.
🎤 Economics of AI - Event recap ✨
In November our first conference on “the economics of AI” took place in Vienna, co-produced with EcoAustria. The event kicked off with two amazing keynotes by Pierre-Alexandre Balland and Fabian Stephany. Both esteemed experts shed light on the importance of AI for Europe’s economic relevance, as well as on necessary steps in economic and labor policy to make the transition as smooth as possible. The second part of the event ft. keynotes by Hermann Erlach from Microsoft and Alexander Wahler from Onlim, who showcased real-world AI applications and their positive contribution to white-collar productivity. We are super happy how the event turned out, with 100+ people joining us on-site in Vienna and some serious numbers on Youtube, where we will easily cross 6️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ views within just a few days.
» Rewatch the entire event on our YouTube channel or read the full recap on our website
💡 AI Governance Summit - Event recap ✨
The IDea_lab at Universität Graz, Kleine Zeitung and Steirische Wirtschaftsförderung SFG, in proud collaboration with AI Austria, hosted the AI Governance Forum in Graz for the first time, to bring together stakeholders from economy, research and technology to discuss AI - from idea to business - from research to technology transfer. Among the speakers, Patrick Ratheiser (Leftshift One), Sebastian Jagsch (AVL), Christoph Koeth (Fresenius Kabi), Georg List, Prof. Dr. Matthias Wendland, LL.M. (Harvard), Stefan Thalmann, Markus Fallenböck and our Jeannette Gorzala, giving an update on the status quo and roadmap ahead for global AI regulation.
🇦🇹 Austria AI Landscape 2023 - final call for input
just a few more days until the annual update of the Austrian AI Landscape, a commnity-project maintained by our own Clemens Wasner.
» If you want to see your organization listed head over to the self-service form
💰 FinTech Week AI & ESG Workshop - Event recap ✨
We extend our heartfelt thanks to Verband österreichischer Banken und Bankiers and especially Stefan Punkl for a remarkable forum on the topic "Green, Smart, Profitable: Is ESG + AI the Future of Banking?"at the Vienna Stock Exchange, moderated by our Matthias Grabner and Jeannette Gorzala. The insightful discussions with Elisabeth Zottl (ARTUS Steuerberatung), Julia Fürst (UniCredit Bank Austria), Gabriel Marosi, Bernhard Kronfellner (BCG), Daniel Hauser (BTV), Marcus Presich (RLB Niederösterreich Wien) underscored AI and ESG's transformative role in finance and banking. Our key learnings of the workshop are:
💡 AI and ESG are not just trends; they're essential drivers of innovation in banking.
🌱 Integration of sustainable practices with AI presents new opportunities and challenges, urging a shift in traditional banking models.
🤝 Collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches are key to navigating this evolving landscape.
🇪🇺 8th European AI Forum
Join us for a virtual event hosted by the EAIF on December 13th, starting at 10 am (CET). This flagship event, presented by nine national AI associations, aims to bring together policymakers and AI entrepreneurs to discuss crucial topics in the European AI ecosystem.
Key Topics & Speakers:
European AI Act
German AI Action Plan with Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger
Polish Society’s Approach to AI
and many more!
» Further information and registration here
💻 Survey - AI usage in Viennese companies
The Economic Chamber of Vienna (WK Wien) has conducted a survey revealing a high adoption rate of AI among its member businesses. With a positive outlook on AI, key application areas include text recognition and translation (70%), standard legal contracts (59%), and market analysis. Martin Heimhilcher of WK Wien highlights the need for a practical European AI strategy with minimal bureaucratic hurdles to foster sustainable growth. » For more details, read more here.
📕🎭 new book: Creative intelligence: How ChatGPT & Co. will change the world
"Creative Intelligence: How ChatGPT and Co will change the world" by author Mario Herger explores the dynamic world of generative AI, from text and image creation to its integration in autonomous vehicles and robots. The book delves into AI's current uses, challenges like bias and explainability, and future prospects, including its synergy with robotics. Authored by a Silicon Valley insider since 2001, formerly with SAP and now a tech trends author, the book offers a unique perspective, blending insights from the San Francisco Bay Area with European contexts. » See the authors page here
🛎️ White paper: Austrian Hotels excel in AI Adoption
A survey led by Prof. Dr. Roland Schegg and the Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV) highlights the status quo of AI use within the hospitality industry. Austrian quality hotels are embracing AI extensively, with 65% using predictive analytics, 63% for personalized services, 60% in analyzing online reviews, 48% in real-time revenue management, and 44% in HR management. This positions Austrian hotels notably ahead of their European counterparts in leveraging AI for operational efficiency and enhanced customer service, marking a significant stride in Austria's tourism and hospitality sector. » Read the white paper here
💶 aws: Funding Green AI Innovation and AI Knowledge Growth
Starting January 1, 2024, Austria's AWS is rolling out three new programs to help with AI projects that are good for the environment. The "AI Unternehmen und Wachstum" project is all about supporting safe and trustworthy AI. If you're using AI for the first time, you can get up to EUR 15,000 with "AI-Start: Green". For bigger, more creative AI plans, "AI-Adoption" and its green version offer up to EUR 150,000. Plus, there's the "AI-Wissen" program to help you learn more about AI. All this is to make using AI faster, smarter, and better for the planet. » Read more here
🎖️ Apply now: Austrian State Award Technology 2024 🇦🇹
The State Award for Technology is the highest award given by the Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology for groundbreaking solutions from Austria.
Special attention is paid to innovative technologies and cultural change initiatives that promote the competitiveness of high-tech industries in Austria in the spirit of the trend reversal and show new climate-friendly ways for a sustainable Austria. Especially relevant for our readers, with AI for Green, there is a special category for research in the field of AI, which can significantly contribute to mitigating climate change and protecting the environment. » apply here
📢 Austrian AI startup gesetzefinden.at launched AmigaAI🚀
The Austrian AI and LegalTech startup gesetzefinden.at launched its beta version of ‘AmigaAI Monitoring’. Amiga AI scanns new legal rulings on the basis of users selected preferences (i.e. court, field of law and search words) and prepares a weekly or daily summary for your convenience. Congratulations to the founding team behind gesetzefinden.at! » Find out more about AmigaAI here.
✨ Generative AI News ✨
The launch of OpenAI's GPT Store, initially set for this year, has been postponed to early 2024, as per a recent company email. OpenAI had previously revealed plans for the GPT Store last month, envisioning it as a platform where users can share and monetize their custom AI chatbots. Developers are not amused …
AI generated video is hot. After Runway ML released their Motion Brush update that allows users increased control over what part of the input image to animate, Stability AI released their own video generation model Stable Video Diffusion, the first of several announced image-to-video and text-to-video models. Pika Labs also raised a lot of attention by announcing their Pika 1.0 platform.
Stability AI, the company responsible for creating Stable Diffusion, is considering a potential sale in response to increasing financial pressures from its investors. According to sources cited by Bloomberg, the UK-based firm has initiated preliminary talks with various companies. However, a sale is not immediately on the horizon, and Stability AI may conclude these discussions without proceeding with a sale.
Microsoft has expanded the availability of Copilot, its AI-driven assistant, to Windows 10 users via a Release Preview build. This follows the earlier launch of Copilot for all Windows 11 users earlier in the year.
Regarding the Enigmatic AI Advancement Termed Q* (q-star) by OpenAI, Purportedly Achieving Genuine AI or Progressing Towards Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).
💡 Asia spotlight
The newly released 2023 White Paper published by Beijing city officials delves into the city’s AI innovation, with 122 leading AI teams pioneering in large model technology. This comprehensive analysis covers global trends, diverse applications in finance, healthcare, and smart cities, and confronts the challenges of computing power, data quality, and industry homogenization.
Singapore has announced its second National AI Strategy, aiming to triple its AI workforce to around 15,000 experts, including machine-learning scientists and engineers. This is part of a broader plan to develop the city-state's tech hub status and build a trusted and responsible AI ecosystem over the next three to five years. The government also plans to significantly increase high-performance computing resources and establish an iconic AI site to co-locate AI creators and practitioners.
The copyright issue of AI-generated images has seen its first ruling in court. The Beijing Internet Court ruled that images generated by AI are the intellectual achievements of the author (choosing the model, setting prompt words, and related parameters), and the creator holds the copyright.
In Japan, Nvidia is working to establish an AI ecosystem to meet the country's AI demand. This involves partnering with local research organizations, companies, and startups to create 'AI factories'. Additionally, the Justice Ministry has begun using AI to translate Japanese laws into English to meet increasing demand. Red more here.
In South Korea, a study suggests that AI could replace up to 14% of jobs in the next two decades, read more here. However, AI is also being used positively, with a startup's K-Pop Dance AI Platform surpassing 200,000 downloads…
TikTok made a big model-based app ChitChop, which can be said to be a personal AI assistant. ChitChop claims to be able to provide users with up to 200+ intelligent bot services, as each of the 6 major scenarios (such as AI creation, AI painting, entertainment, AI learning, work, and life) contains 10+ AI tools.
📆 Upcoming Events
For more information on upcoming events head over to our community calendar.
🧑💻 Featured Jobs
Once a month we feature selected openings from our job board in this section.
Lead Data Plattform Engineer at ORF
Artificial Intelligence Engineer (f/m/d) at Trever
AIProductOps Stars at ImpactAI
Full Stack Software Engineer at mytalents.ai
Project Manager - Network for Artificial Intelligence at Austria Wirtschaftsservice
Lead Team Media Services at RTR
Lead Team Digital Services at RTR
Data Analyst at RTR
Check out further listings at our Job Board
Thanks for reading AI Austria Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our mission.