Chinese tech giant Tencent has urged European companies to focus on ethical applications of artificial intelligence, leaving higher-risk ventures to the US and China.
Speaking at a conference in Helsinki, Finland, David Wallerstein, Tencent’s chief exploration officer, said he was encouraging the European Union to “embrace AI and deploy it in the areas that would have a maximum benefit for human life, even if that technology isn’t competitive to take on an American or Chinese market”.
“By the time you get better at AI in Europe, the planet will have 8.5 billion people and most of the additional billion will be in the developing world. Energy is an area where there’s a huge opportunity on the planet, and it’s a huge opportunity for Europe.
“I’ve heard lots of people saying how do we catch up with China and the US in the next 15 years, but we may not have much of a planet left by then,” he said.
The comments give an insight into Tencent’s thinking on where the EU fits in the race for artificial intelligence, suggesting the bloc focuses on applications that China and the US are dedicating less time to, and perhaps less controversial uses of the technology.