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How Europe can balance control and the promotion of Artificial Intelligence to avoid falling behind in the global technology race

Imagine you’re in the middle of the ocean, on a surfboard, and a giant wave is coming towards you. That wave is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now, you have two options: either you ride the wave and enjoy the journey, or you stay paralyzed, trying to build a wall to stop it. Sounds absurd, right? Well, that’s how I see the current situation in Europe with AI.

While places like China and the United States are catching waves as if there were no tomorrow, in Europe we are debating whether we should wet our feet. The recent rush by the European Union to enact laws on AI, just after tools like ChatGPT left us all astonished, makes me wonder: Are we trying to build a wall in the middle of the ocean?

AI: A double-edged tool

Let’s make something clear: today’s AI is not Skynet. We’re not talking about robots with self-awareness. What we have are incredibly powerful tools, like ChatGPT, that can write a post like this in the blink of an eye. But, of course, this is frightening. It’s scary because it changes the game, because it makes us reconsider what it means to work, create, or even think.

Education and adaptation: Keys to the future

This is where things get interesting. In some places, they have decided that the best way to deal with AI in schools is to ban it. It’s as if we had decided to ban calculators for fear that people would forget how to add. The real masterstroke is not in banning, but in adapting. We have to learn to ride this wave, to work with AI, not against it.

Europe at the Crossroads: Regulation vs. Innovation

Europe is at a turning point. On one hand, the fear of the unknown pushes us to regulate strongly, to try to control the wave. But, on the other hand, there’s the opportunity to embrace innovation, to be part of something big. Regulation is necessary, yes, but it has to be like a surfer’s suit: flexible enough to allow us to move and adapt to the wave, not so rigid that it sinks us.

The Opportunity: Forging the Path to the Future

AI is the biggest wave we’ve seen in a long time. Europe has everything to be a leader in this new world, but for that, we need to stop trying to build walls in the ocean and learn to surf. We need an approach that balances regulation with innovation, that protects without suffocating. That way, and only that way, can we seize the potential of AI and secure our place on the podium of the global technological race. Are you ready to ride the wave?

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