Malta takes a step forward towards developing a national artificial intelligence strategy and launched a High-Level AI Policy for consultation during a public workshop held on the 21st March 2019, presenting to the public the high-level vision in this field for Malta, which is being developed by the Task Force setup for this purpose.

As the AI industry is expected to underpin $15.7 trillion of global economic growth by 2030 and has the potential of growing compoundly at a rate of 75% until the year 2021 the vision of the Government is for Malta to become “a place in which local and foreign companies and entrepreneurs can develop, prototype, test and scale AI, and ultimately showcase the value from their innovations across an entire nation primed for adoption.”

Three strategic pillars upon which the strategy is build were presented during the event: (i) Investment, Start-ups and Innovation; (ii) Public Sector Adoption and (iii) Private Sector Adoption. The Malta.AI taskforce also identified three enablers that cut across all aspects of the national AI Strategy: (i) Education and Workforce, (ii) Legal and Ethical Framework, and (iii) Ecosystem Infrastructure.

Legal and Ethical Framework

As an important enabler for the vision, the ethical and legal framework to be developed will articulate the ethical foundations and the legal principles for acceptable AI systems - human-centric, trusted, transparent and unbiased - as well will look into:

  • specific provisions to clarify ownership of intellectual property rights in AI generated outputs, particularly where multiple entities are involved in the value chain;
  • specific liability provisions that provide clarity and protection to users, co-developers, owners and investors; and the adaptation of existing legislation to embrace AI applications;
  • the development of a regulatory framework for the certification of AI technologies;
  • the set-up of a regulatory AI sandbox;
  • cross-border data flows facilitation;
  • the development of regulation and legislation to support specific AI related use-cases as required such as self-driving cars.

As part of its work, the Task Force and its Ethics and Legal Framework Committee will be defining AI and developing guiding principles for sustaining trust in AI across the public and private sector; actively collaborate with European Institutions and International Organisations on AI related initiatives in order to understand emerging standards and norms.

The High-Level AI Policy document can be consulted here.