Alright, here we go!
At first reading I must say I'm a bit underwhelmed, and a bit confused. There's quite a lot in there but not very concrete or focused.
Admittedly, it looks like a more concrete "Digital Compass" is in the works.

So let's see what's in this Commission communication "2030 Digital Compass*: the European way for the Digital Decade"

*yes, I find this confusing too.
This Communication from the EU Commission on the #DigitalDecade starts by saying that the EU's stated ambition is "to pursue digital policies that empower people and businesses to seize a human centred, sustainable and more prosperous digital future".
Side note: I still don't know what digital means. I don't mean to be snarky here, or want to have a "what even is AI?" style nit-pick debate. I seriously don't quite understand what "digital" entails - it reads a bit like "everything computer-related".
On the first page the communication mentions digital sovereignty. How/ when is the EU digital sovereign?

Have a competitive single market, strong rules embedding European values, be an assertive player in rule-based international trade, have a solid industrial base...
...highly-skilled citizens, a robust civil society, address strategic vulnerabilities & dependencies, build/deploy technological capabilities in a way that empowers people & businesses to seize the potential of the digital transformation and build a healthier & greener society.
Also part of digital sovereignty: having a European Cloud, leading in ethical #AI, create secure digital identity for all, and have vastly improved data, supercomputer, and connectivity infrastructures in the EU.
The EU Commission's vision for a digitalised economy & society in 2030: solidarity, prosperity, sustainability, empowerment of citizens and businesses and a secure and resilient digital ecosystem and supply chains.

Missing here and largely in the doc: a geopolitical view.
That's indeed a problem
Ok, let's come to the meat of the thing: the four "cardinal points".
The priorities set out by the Commission are:
1) digitally empowered*, capable citizens + more talent development in EU

The goal for 2030: 20 million employed ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) specialists in the EU

*can you see why I have a problem with "digital"?
2) Infrastructure. This includes connectivity for everybody and everywhere in Europe.
Goal 2030: All European households covered by a Gigabit network, all populated areas covered by 5G.
In this context, the external dimension is acknowledged. (good!)
Still part of this infrastructure bit: goal that "production of cutting-edge and sustainable semiconductors in Europe including processors is at least 20% of world production in value" by 2030
Plus two more goals about 10 000 climate neutral highly secure edge nodes deployed in the EU, and a European computer with quantum acceleration by 2025.
So, infrastructure is A LOT.
Third priority: Digital transformation of businesses.
Here I have little more to note than the 2030 ambition:
4) Digitalisation of public service.
2030 goals:
I kinda love this graph. Someone explain to me what having reached half of the goal of "doubling the number of EU unicorns" means.
Anyhow - we're almost through, bear with me.

We're going to get an annual Eurobarometer on the "perception of Europeans regarding the respect of their rights and values, and to what extent they feel that the digitisation of our society is serving them". I like that.
I also like that the communication emphasises the importance of Commission and EU Member States working together. My sense is that on tech, there is quite a gap - of communication, goals, capabilities, understanding - between Brussels and the member states.
Finally a bit more on the external/international elements.
"The degree of digitalisation of an economy or society has been shown not only to be a critical underpinning of economic and societal resilience, but also a factor in global influence." Indeed.
The EU will build "strong international digital partnerships" which will "strengthen the EU’s capacity to assert its own interests and deliver global solutions while fighting against unfair & abusive practices and ensuring the security & resilience of EU digital supply chains."
"Trade agreements will play a vital role in this regard by setting the global and bilateral rules for digital trade in an open but assertive manner, based on European values. [...] the EU has proposed to establish a new EU-US Trade and Technology Council"
Interestingly, these international elements seem most concrete to me: I can see how this will work, how the EU can put standards about, say, ethical #AI in future trade agreements.
That was my read-through of the Communication from the EU Commission "2030 Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade"
I must say, that was quite some work. It's always easy to complain about bureaucratic language and all that in EU communications, but I am actually tired now.
My biggest issues with this doc and the whole #digitaldecade:
. I don't really understand what digital is, it just seems too large to mean anything
. I would have liked to get an explanation why the Commission went for these topics, as compared to others.
What I mean: the French AI strategy had the useful approach of saying: these are all relevant elements, and these are the elements we think the French state can do something about, so we focus on that.
Some explanation how the "cardinal points" were chosen would have been great.
. I also think all this is still very unspecific. HOW are we getting better trained citizens, and more talent, and better connectivity and all that?
I liked the parts about international cooperation (admittedly that's what I work on so this may just mean more to me). But more of an acknowledgement of the geopolitical power struggle in this area, and how the EU wants to position itself on that would have been useful too.
So... do I feel more informed now, and convinced that this decade will be the EU's #DigitalDecade?
Btw: if you enjoy these somewhat unorganised threads of me reading documents you maybe should be reading but can’t get yourself to - I’ve also done a read-along of the US National Security Commission on #AI report

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More from @RikeFranke

10 Mar
"The data indicate that remotely piloted AISR aircraft have not reduced demand for crewed aircraft. Rather, these new aircraft have been used to satisfy previously unmet demand that existing crewed aircraft could not surge to meet."
These are really interesting findings!
Unmanned systems still need quite a few people to fly them, and so (in the US) the personnel cost per system is the same as for manned aircraft. Per flight hour, however, costs are lower.
Read 6 tweets
9 Mar
Recently, I've gotten a surprising number of emails from students that I felt were pretty off - so I thought I'd do a thread on this.
This is supposed to help, not chide - I always try to say yes to student requests, but it's more fun if I don't feel annoyed at the start!😊
Form of address: Personally I'm totally fine with the "Dear Ulrike (if I may)" approach, but not everyone is, so better go for the title.
"Dear Ms" (or Mrs?!) actually annoys me.
And "Dear sir or madam" is just ... what?
Say in one sentence what you are working on. And then say in one sentence why you want to talk to me about it.
Sometimes I get these emails and just wonder: you've found me somehow, so you must know my topics, but yours doesn't match mine so what's the link? Don't make me ask.
Read 6 tweets
3 Mar
Reading for today sorted - the US National Commission on #AI has published its final report
So what does it say?
Report here:…
It certainly starts gloomy: "the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) is delivering an uncomfortable message: America is not prepared to defend or compete in the AI era. This is the tough reality we must face."
#AI Image
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20 Jan
.@ecfr (with YouGov) has done a poll in 11 European countries on their view of the US.
Some results (thread)…
54% of Europeans* think that "the world is in a worse place because of Trump's presidency". 18% disagree.

*11 countries polled: Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK.
32% of Europeans among the countries polled say that "after voting for Trump, Americans cannot be trusted". 27% disagree.
Support for this statement is *by far* the highest in Germany, with 53% (!) saying Americans cannot be trusted, and only 15% disagreeing.
Read 5 tweets
8 Dec 20
Once again, the #SPD, days before a decision was to be taken, is backtracking on the procurement of armed #drones. The claim: there hasn't been enough debate.
A thread showing *how utterly absurd* this claim is.*

(*No you don't need to support armed drones to acknowledge this)
In 2013 I was a fresh-faced PhD student. I wrote👇about the German debate on armed drones. At this time, the then-defence minister had argued for drones, high-ranking officers supported the idea. The Bundestag’s defence committee first discussed the issue…
2014, my PhD advances, the German #drone debate not so much.
I comment: "There is one military topic, however, which has been discussed repeatedly and heatedly over the last few years: whether the German Bundeswehr should procure armed ‘drones’."…
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17 Nov 20
Oh come on ⁦@faznet⁩ !!! “AKK stands up to Macron”, rejects his idea of European autonomy.’
Talk about a straw man! AKK has rejected an interpretation of European autonomy that Macron never made.…
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What Macron actually said: "But the United States will only respect us as allies if we are earnest, and if we are sovereign with respect to our defence."…
Read 6 tweets

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