AmCham Bulgaria Position on The National AI Development Concept

Today AmCham Bulgaria filed a position with recommendations on the National AI Development Concept. The text was prepared on the basis of the Digital Sustainability Forum 2019 discussions and feedback from members by the team of Boyanov & Co. led by Attn. Nikolay Zisov, Attn. Trayan Targov and Attn. Deyan Terziev.

Digital Sustainability Forum 2019 Input

As a result of its efforts to this effect, in April and July 2019, AmCham Bulgaria, acting via its Digital Committee, organized two round tables under the umbrella format of “Digital Sustainability Forum” in Sofia. The meetings were moderated by Atty. Borislav Boyanov, Managing Partner at Boyanov & Co. Law Firm. Among the participants in the Forum were Mariya Gabriel, in her capacity as EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society; Rosen Zhelyazkov, Minister of Transport and ICT of Bulgaria; AmCham Bulgaria member companies (incl. Microsoft, IBM, Telelink, BULPROS and Oracle), other leading Bulgarian and international companies and business organizations from the IT sector, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian state administration and the academia.

AmCham Bulgaria provided recommendations in several areas.

Provide for regulatory freedom for AI development

The representatives of the business are positive that the possible efforts to introduce a stringent and burdensome AI regulatory framework would be premature and would have negative impact on the development of this technology in Bulgaria.

Insofar as one of the aims of such regulations would be to curb any potential social damages, the most important thing would be to empirically establish and evaluate all real-time risks, associated with the use of AI, to serve as a foundation of its possible regulation.

From regulatory point of view, the state should not hamper, but rather stimulate, the natural course of progression of AI technology, through a consistent AI policy.

Increase investments in the training and education of AI specialists

The insufficient number of suitably educated workforce for the needs of AI industry in Bulgaria causes concerns.

According to the industry representatives, more prominence is to be given to the issues related to the current situation of the educational system in Bulgaria, where some of them find it to be unfit to meet the current demands of the business. Therefore, a highlight is to be placed on the need to update the educational model, as it is the prerequisite for a successful AI development in Bulgaria.

More resources are necessary to be invested in the training and education of AI specialists in Bulgaria, where efforts in this direction should be made both by the business and by the state.

Ensure freely accessible data bases for AI machine learning

A necessary condition for developing reliable systems and algorithms is the high-quality AI machine learning. It is of key importance that the business has free access to data bases, ones that are verified, classified and certified.

In this regard, it is recommended that Bulgaria focuses on technological specialization regarding data, bearing in mind that industrial specialization could not be sufficiently enhanced in the country, due to the lack of industrial companies specializing in the AI sector.

With a view of future AI development, the Bulgarian state and the European Union are recommended to focus on providing to software developers freely accessible high-quality data sets, prepared and ready to use. Thus, well established market players, as well as start-ups, could use these data bases to train their algorithms and develop new products.

Read the AmCham Recommendations on AI in Bulgarian

AmCham Recommendations in full in English will follow.