September 12’s vote will be about whether startups, SMEs and the broader research community will receive a workable legal basis to conduct TDM. Without it, only those who already possess — or can leverage existing users to access — data points will be able to train superior algorithms. Without an effective data mining policy, startups and innovators in Europe will run dry. It’s not only that Europe’s AI landscape will stumble along like a 16-bit system, but also that the rest of the world will be running on 64-bits.
A bit like in the run-up to the Ariane-5 launch, the European Commission and many in the European Parliament don’t see the bug: Two points need fixing, according to Vice President Ansip, but he makes no mention of the crucial link between data mining and AI. A copyright directive which does not grant the possibility to conduct data mining on lawfully accessible content will leave Europe with a 16-bit version of artificial intelligence. In that version, only some researchers will be allowed to innovate — not startups, SMEs, journalists, libraries, or the wider research community.