Digital Summit to bring IT ministers, entrepreneurs and experts from 14 countries to Tallinn

Stenbock House, Tallinn, Estonia, 15 October, 2018 – Ministers, entrepreneurs and technology experts from 14 digitally minded countries across the world will convene tomorrow for Tallinn Digital Summit 2018. The summit will focus on artificial intelligence and global trade in data, as well as their implications for governance, economies, and societies as a whole.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning have already changed our lives and will bring even greater changes in the near future. We need to use these technologies wisely and responsibly to provide better and smarter services,” said Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

“I am delighted to welcome ministers, entrepreneurs and innovators in Tallinn. Cross-border trade of data and artificial intelligence are no longer science fiction. We need to envision our AI and machine-learning future and act now,” Ratas added.

AI is part of our daily lives, often without us being aware of it, according to Rene Tammist, Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. For example, the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) uses machine learning on satellite images to detect mowing of grassland. The Estonian Information System Authority uses AI in cyber defence to prevent incidents.

“When used wisely, AI could improve Estonian economic productivity as well as the quality of state services,” said Tammist. “Several countries leading AI implementation will be in Tallinn. Their experience will surely help us to develop an AI strategy for Estonia,” Tammist added.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will open the summit. The opening session will also include Greg Corrado, Principal Scientist of Augmented Intelligence Research at Google, and Jack Clark, Strategy and Communications Director at OpenAI, a non-profit AI research company.

The summit’s knowledge partners are world-class research groups and think tanks: the McKinsey Global Institute, the Lisbon Council, Centre for Public Impact and European Centre for International Political Economy. They will present papers and fresh research on AI and the cross-border trade of data.

In the tech-talk session, Adrian Brown (the Centre for Public Impact) and Miguel Carrasco (the Boston Consulting Group) will discuss making AI work in governments and for the people. Kai Härmand (Estonian Ministry of Justice), Karmen Turk (Triniti Law Office), Adrian Brown and Marten Kaevats will discuss whether algorithms need to be legally regulated. Jack Clark and James Manyika will discuss how the activity and progress in AI could be measured.

Guests of Digital Summit include: Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission; Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection of Ireland; Takuya Hirai, Minister of Science and Information Technology Policy of Japan; Megan Woods, Minister for Government Digital Services of New Zealand; Janil Puthucheary, Minister-in-charge of GovTech, and the Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information of Singapore; Kim Boo Kyum, Minister of the Interior and Safety of South Korea; Peter Eriksson, Minister for Housing and Digital Development of Sweden; Günter Krings, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community of Germany; Elijus Čivilis, Vice Minister of Economy of Lithuania; Guillermo Moncecchi, Vice Minister of Industry of Uruguay; Rinalds Muciņš, State Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia; Martin Præstegaard, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance of Denmark; Lord Ashton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the UK; Member of the French Parliament’s National Assembly Florian Bachelier and Anna-Maija Karjalainen, the Director-General, Public Sector ICT in the Ministry of Finance of Finland.

The Estonian delegation is led by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and includes Rene Tammist, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, Siim Sikkut, Deputy Secretary General for IT and Telecom of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Klen Jäärats, Director for EU Affairs of the Estonian Government Office and Communications, Marten Kaevats, national digital advisor in the Government Office, and Estonian tech entrepreneurs.

Tallinn Digital Summit 2018 follows Tallinn Digital Summit 2017 that was held during the Estonian Presidency of the European Union in September 2017 and brought together EU leaders.

Tallinn Digital Summit 2018 programme:

Watch discussions live on 16 October at: