The fourth industrial revolution is still in beta. Yet, machines already perform at near-human ability. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are advancing at great speed. Image and speech recognition and self-driving vehicles are just the beginning. Artificial intelligence’s potential for both incredible benefits as well as havoc occupies some of the world’s top minds. Policymakers shouldn’t be far behind. It would be a grave mistake to watch the future unpack itself and react after the fact. Too many technological, ethical, and regulatory dilemmas await our attention.
Let’s tackle these challenges. We must not only be present at the global conversation on the implications of digital economies and societies. We must help drive it. We must also decide upon a vision of the future we wish to see, and then represent it in a clear, considered voice — and policies. For these reasons, I want to initiate the Tallinn Digital Summit. I see it as a regular meeting of Heads of State / Heads of Government along with leaders and innovators from the tech trenches.
I envision the Summit as a free and open exchange of views on technological progress. I’m a big believer in bringing policymakers, the tech community, and influential thinkers under one roof, to ponder the direction of our region, and our civilisation.
If we do it right, we’ll gain insights and hammer out ideas to take home — as inputs for policies, projects, joint initiatives, better regulations and so on. We can share and learn from our mistakes, lend, borrow, and build upon our achievements.
Prime Minister of Estonia