McKinsey has prepared a report for the recent EU digital summit in Tallinn: ‘10 imperatives for Europe in the age of AI and automation‘. McKinsey’s James Manyika says that Europe, while making progress, is behind the US and China in capturing the opportunities of artificial intelligence and automation.

A few key points from the report:

  • Big data, advanced analytics, and the Internet of Things are transforming businesses as well as business and industrial processes.
  • Digitally enabled business models and capabilities are reshaping industries such as retail, transportation, finance, and manufacturing, and could transform many more.
  • Some 50 percent of the world’s traded services are already digitized.

In Europe, as in the United States, the depth of usage of digital technologies diverges across companies, including those within the same sector . In most countries, a few sectors are relatively more highly digitized, for example financial services, media, and the tech sector itself.

Interesting to note that Germany’ industry seems to be behind most other countries in terms of digitazation.

Europe has digital startups and considerable innovation, but, unlike the United States and China, has been largely unable to translate that consistently into global digital platforms.

China and the US dominate investments in AI

The United States and China both have AI “ecosystems”—clusters of AI entrepreneurs, financiers, and AI users—and have issued national strategic plans in the past 18 months with significant AI dimensions, in some cases backed up by funding initiatives

What can Europe do?

McKinsey has 5 suggestions for the EU leader:

1. Lead by example: European governments could set ambitious digitization targets for their own public sectors,

2. Accelerate efforts to complete a Digital Single Market:

3. Embrace and enable the creation and growth of large-scale digital platforms and digital innovators

4. Invest to become a leading digital ecosystem and digital destination:

5. Invest more and experiment more with AI and other new technologies


So what is China doing differently?

Will Knight argues in an insightful MIT Technology Review article ‘Chinas’s AI awakening‘: “The West shouldn’t fear China’s artificial-intelligence revolution. It should copy it.”


I have looked at some more aspects in the recent post ‘China’s rise to become a leader in Artificial Intelligence


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