European Commissioner Vera Jourova told a conference in Prague on May 9 that digitisation and artificial intelligence (AI) should develop in her homeland, Czech Republic, and Europe without too much regulation.

She stressed, however, that there should be respect to the protection of privacy and personal data – unlike in the US and China. Personal data is used freely in the by American corporations and state supervision in China, she said.

As reported by the Prague Daily Monitor, Jourova also said the European Union is considering whether to use AI in defence and military affairs or not.

According to Czech State Secretary of European Affairs, Ales Chmelar, neither the Czech Republic nor the EU seem to have a chance to become a leader in AI, however, they may push through partial steps in the AI development.

Michal Pechoucek, who heads the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Czech Technical University (CVUT), said Czechs contribute to the AI development especially by producing top experts. However, he stressed the Czech Republic should focus on fields in which it is strong, namely the automotive industry and applying AI in production automation.

According to a 2016 study published by the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, the Czech Republic lags other EU countries in digital literacy.