Denmark’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence

Denmark is to be a front-runner in responsible development and use of artificial intelligence – benefitting individuals, businesses and society as a whole.

Artificial intelligence offers great opportunities for creating growth, prosperity and world-class public service. Therefore, the Danish National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence seeks to create a framework for companies, researchers and public authorities that allow them to exploit the potential of artificial intelligence with a high level of responsibility.

The strategy puts forth four objectives for the Danish development and use of artificial intelligence:

  1. Denmark should have a common ethical and human-centred basis for artificial intelligence
  2. Danish researchers should research and develop artificial intelligence
  3. Danish businesses should achieve growth through developing and using artificial intelligence
  4. The public sector should use artificial intelligence to offer world-class services

A good starting point - but also challenges

Thanks to a long-standing focus on digitization in both the public and private sectors, Denmark has a good starting point for using new technologies: high-quality and structured public data sets, a flexible labour market, and a population adaptable and open to new technologies.

However, the use of artificial intelligence also poses a number of challenges that need to be addressed. For example, artificial intelligence raises a number of ethical issues of openness and transparency, because the technology allows for new ways of making decisions. The development and use of artificial intelligence also requires access to specialized labour – and precisely this kind of labour is in great demand.

Danish is also a small language area, and this challenges the development of solutions based on artificial intelligence using speech recognition and language understanding in Danish. These are challenges, which the strategy tries to address.

The initiatives of the strategy

The strategy's initiatives fall within four focus areas that will help ensure that the work on artificial intelligence is based on an ethical basis, with access to good data, strong competencies and new knowledge, and that the possibilities for investments in technology are improving.

In order to boost the work on artificial intelligence in Denmark and gain more experience with the technology, specific objectives are also formulated in four priority areas: health, energy and utilities, agriculture and transport.

The strategy contains of 24 initiatives that cross the public and private sector. DKK 60 million are allocated for new initiatives in the strategy. Among other things, a number of signature projects will be carried out in cooperation with municipalities, regions and private companies.

Artificial intelligence is a technology undergoing rapid development, and therefore the strategy will be revisited at regular intervals so that efforts can be adapted and new ones can come into play.

Key initiatives

The strategy contains 24 initiatives aimed at strengthening the development and use of artificial intelligence in Denmark.

Principles for responsible development and use of artificial intelligence

Ethical principles will be set as the framework for development and use of artificial intelligence. These principles will be supplemented with initiatives to strengthen cyber security, creating legal clarity as well as ensuring responsible and transparent use of artificial intelligence in the public sector.

Common Danish language resource

A common Danish language resource will be established to support and accelerate the development of language-technology solutions in Danish. The language resource will be freely available, enabling suppliers to build on existing knowledge to create new solutions within voice recognition and language understanding to benefit citizens, authorities and businesses.

More open public-sector data for artificial intelligence

In collaboration with the businesses and research communities, the ambition is to identify five public-sector datasets during 2020 and 2021, which can be made accessible for businesses, researchers and public authorities and contribute to developing artificial intelligence. This public data will not be personal data, but for example environment and climate data, or location data in the transport area.

Signature projects in the public secto

There is a lack of experience on the use of artificial intelligence in the public sector. In collaboration with regions and municipalities, a number of signature projects will be launched within health, the social and employment areas, and cross-sector case processing. 

Stronger investment in Danish businesses

It is proposed to launch a pilot project in the form of an investment pool of DKK 20 million (EUR 3.1 million) over four years be targeting at businesses with a business model based on artificial intelligence. The prerequisite for this is a 50 percent financing from the private sector amounting to a total investment pool of DKK 40 million (EUR 6.2 million). The fund will be managed by the Danish Growth Fund.