The new Brazilian Strategy for Artificial Intelligence

The launching of the new Brazilian Strategy for Artificial Intelligence established the Brazilian AI priorities and one of the most important concrete aspects is the intention to create 8 Hubs for Applied Research (CPA) in Artificial Intelligence...

The launching of the new Brazilian Strategy for Artificial Intelligence established the Brazilian AI priorities and one of the most important concrete aspects is the intention to create 8 Hubs for Applied Research (CPA) in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Prepared by Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI) with the contribution of multiple sectors, the document will guide public policies for the development of technology in the country and will help to improve Brazil´s situation in innovation and attract talents.

This new document will guide the actions of the federal government in the development of actions, in various aspects, like stimulating research, innovation and development of solutions in Artificial Intelligence, as well as guide for a conscious and ethical use of AI for a better future.

The construction

According to the Secretary for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of MCTI, Paulo Alvim, the document was created by collecting diverse and sectorial views, including considering international experiences. “The great relevance and range of impacts of AI have led countless countries to develop policies, strategies and plans to deal with this theme. In Brazil we have been working intensively on it since 2009. First, we conducted a survey with academic experts and specialists, through a qualitative questionnaire. In parallel, we held a Public Consultation to society through the federal government’s electronic platform, between December 2019 and March 2020, when we received about a thousand contributions,” he explains.

“We started looking for calls for proposals so that we could create eight artificial intelligence hubs in the country, of which we will already deliver the first four”, stated the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, astronaut Marcos Pontes. The minister highlighted that the publication of the Strategy is a big step for Brazil, since the AI-technology is essential for the development of many other technologies.

However, the Strategy does not provide tangible goals, budget, organization or concrete implementation planning.

Objectives

  • Contribute to the elaboration of ethical principles for the responsible development and use of AI;
  • Promote sustained investments in research and development in AI;
  • Remove barriers to innovation in AI;
  • Train and educate professionals for the AI ecosystem;
  • Stimulate innovation and the development of Brazilian AI in an international environment;
  • Promote a cooperative environment between public and private entities, industry and research facilities for the development of Artificial Intelligence.

AI Hubs

MCTI and FAPESP (São Paulo State Research Support Foundation), in cooperation with the CGI (Brazilian Internet Steering Committee), will foster the creation of up to 8 Centers for Applied Research (CPA) in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

These CPAs will be focused on the development of scientific, technological and innovation research, applied and oriented towards problems that can be solved with AI. The Centers will be supported for a period of 5 years and may be renewed for another 5 years, totalizing up to 10 years, according to the results achieved. Each CPA may receive up to R$ 1 million per year from FAPESP and an additional R$ 1 million from one or more Partner Companies.

The focal areas of the first four CPA will be:

  • Health,
  • Agriculture,
  • Industry and
  • Smart Cities.

It is expected that the CPAs in Artificial Intelligence will stimulate:

  • basic and applied research and innovation;
  • strengthen product development (hardware/firmware, software, algorithms and mathematical models);
  • strongly contribute to the connection between ICTs, Government and Companies;
  • provide the necessary infrastructure for the expansion of research networks; develop competences and advanced and qualified technological training;
  • and finally, contribute to the economic growth and social progress of the country.

Ana Carolina Bussacos & Jacob Paulsen