Greece is currently developing its national AI strategy. The Hellenic Ministry of Digital Governance (MDG) is coordinating the development of the national AI strategy, involving major stakeholders in Greece, as well as experts from within the country and the EU.
AI is recognised as one of the main strategic axes of the Digital Transformation Bible (DTB), the flagship policy report that drives the digital transformation in Greece. In one of its chapters, this flagship report highlights the scope and objective areas of the national AI strategy in Greece:
- Determining the conditions for the development of AI, including the skills and trust framework, the data policy as well as the ethical principles for its safe development and use;
- Describing national priorities and areas for maximizing the benefits of AI to meet societal challenges and economic growth;
- Analysing the necessary actions related to the above priorities and proposing horizontal interventions as well as at least one pilot application per policy area.
The development of the national AI strategy is in its final stage. A Working Group comprised of members of major stakeholders in the AI ecosystem has been formed in order to provide feedback on current and planned initiatives in the AI national ecosystems as well as recommendations on the structure and content of the national AI strategy.
Finally, the Hellenic Government is expecting to publicly release its national AI strategy in 2021.
AI to address societal challenges
Climate and environment
By June 2021, date of publication of this report, Greece lacks policy initiatives for this section.
Greece has set up various initiatives with the aim to employ AI and machine learning to research tackling the COVID-19 outbreak:
- The Meteo Operational Unit of the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD) employed machine learning to investigate possible relationships between COVID-19 epidemiological variables (number of confirmed cases and deaths) and meteorological parameters (temperature, humidity, sunshine duration), and the interaction of these variables with social distancing measures. This study would unveil the relative impact of each meteorological variables on the spread of the COVID-19 disease, therefore the possible influence of weather conditions on the spread of SARS-CoV-2;
- The General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) has launched the Flagship Research Action "Epidemiological study of SARS-CoV-2 in Greece through extensive testing for virus and antibody detection, viral genome sequencing and genetic analysis of patients, in response to the SARS-CoV-2 crisis". This study aims to produce relevant databases for innovative computational studies using AI and it is funded by the Ministry of Development and Investments under the Public Investments Programme (PIP);
- The Institute Nanoscience Nanotechnologies Demokritos (NCSR) coordinates the BioASQ project that organises challenges on biomedical semantic indexing by means of machine learning and AI. Specifically to the COVID-19, the NCSR launched a challenge to employ AI software tools of the BioASQ project to answer scientific questions on the coronavirus in order to expand the understanding of this virus and to find new solutions.
The Greek Prime Minister recently agreed to collaborate with the American tech giant Microsoft within the global programme AI for Good. Among the points of the collaboration both climate challenges and the business impact of coronavirus belong to the points of this partnership.
In addition, Greece organised or participated in a series of hackathons to foster the role of AI in countering the COVID-19 pandemic:
- #HackCoronaGreece: In April 2020, a competition was organised with the support of the Ministry of Digital Governance to collect and accelerate the implementation of new proposals to tackle the pandemic COVID-19 in areas such as health, public administration, data analysis. The competition was designed and implemented by the companies Dataconomy and Data Natives, with the support of eHealthForum and EELLAK;
- #COVIDhackGR: An initiative of the Ministry of Digital Governance organised as a competition to promote innovative digital solutions to tackle the COVID-19 virus;
- Antivirus Crowd hackathon: the first innovation marathon for digital applications and methodologies that face the consequences of the epidemic supported by the Attica Region;
- #EUvsVirus hackathon: Greece participated in the COVID-19 Smart Screening Tool presented during this hackathon. This project is jointly developed by Luxembourg and Greece with the objective to roll-out a generalised, scalable, yet resource-optimized strategy for de-confinement with a combination of COVID-19 testing and surveying based on machine learning, blockchain, and AI. Another winning project that was headquartered in Greece is the SERS4SARS project which proposes to develop reliable, cheap and quick solutions for detecting the virus based on AI.