On Monday 23rd September 2019, the Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation Silvio Schembri announced that the Government of Malta will launch the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in the upcoming days. The statement was given at a MITA seminar on the Digitization of the Public Service and Artificial Intelligence.

AI has been considered as one of the potential sectors which could boost Malta’s economic growth and digital innovation. This idea was then re-enforced following Malta’s success within the blockchain sector. This led to the creation of a task force on AI with the aim of devising a holistic approach to the sector. Its objective was to look into the possible risks of AI and to find ways to boost the potential growth of this sector. Furthermore, it aimed to achieve this without hampering innovative ideas or the economy as a whole. A number of public consultations were then conducted in order to help establish the principles of such strategy. Through these consultations the government aimed to reach people at every level.

The idea was for Malta to become a test-bed for projects which could later be developed accordingly for larger countries. Through this process investors would be able to appreciate first-hand the value and effect of innovations. Entrepreneurs would also be able to prototype and test prior to implementing projects on a greater scale.  Emphasis was also made on the necessity to uphold the principles of ethics, transparency and accountability in implementing this strategy.

Major investments are nowadays directed towards technological innovation. A long-term plan lasting until 2030 will be implemented with the hopes that Malta could become a centre for the use of AI.

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