Serbia to Invest EUR 100 Million in Development of Artificial Intelligence in Next Two Years

Source: eKapija Thursday, 22.02.2024. 14:05
(Photo: whiteMocca/
Serbia will invest EUR 100 million in the development of artificial intelligence in the next two years. The strategic framework for that endeavor, according to the NALED, is supposed to be provided by the new Strategy of Development of Artificial Intelligence until 2030, which will be one of the priorities of the new government, along with the accompanying action plan. The aim is for Serbia to place itself among the leaders in the region in this field, it was said at the session of the NALED’s E-Government Alliance.

According to Stefan Badza, the leader of the team for special projects within the prime minister’s cabinet, the focus of the work on the new strategy is to secure more flexible regulations and enable facilities for companies which want to implement innovations. He reminded that, in 2023, the issue of legislation activities in this field had been raised and the Ethical Guidelines for the development of AI had been adopted in cooperation with the NALED.

– This year, we will start working on preparing the law, following the activities of the EU, that is, the adoption of the AI Regulation, which is expected in April. By 2026, the plan is to invest EUR 30 million in another supercomputer, which will be free for researchers and startups, EUR 20 million in software for the public sector, primarily in healthcare, energy and transport, as well as EUR 30 million for incentives for the development of artificial intelligence. We will make additional investments in startups, since a fourth of them develop AI solutions – stated Badza and invited the interested parties to get involved in the work on the preparation of the new strategy, so that Serbia would have a proposition of an act that regulates this field by the end of the year.

The first strategy for the development of AI in Serbia was adopted in 2019, making the country the first in Southeast Europe and 26th in the world to have such a document.

– The NALED will be part of the work group for the preparation of the new strategy – stated Dragana Ilic, the president of the E-Government Alliance and Corporate Affairs Director at Cetin. She pointed out that the precondition for the use of artificial intelligence was the availability of broadband internet, which would be the focus of 2024.

– We are glad that Serbia has made important steps toward the development of AI. Among the most important priorities of the Alliance for this year are the further development of eServices, the upgrade of the regulatory framework for the development of digital infrastructure and 5G technology, the improvement of protection, the opening and re-use of data through the development of artificial intelligence and the smart cities concept – stated Ilic.

Dubravko Culibrk, the director of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, presented the activities and the current projects that the institution is working on. According to him, the vision of the Institute is to become a center of excellence, which develops experts in the field of the application of AI and contributes to creating a knowledge-based economy.

– One of the projects that we are currently working on is transferring all the audio recordings of RTS into a text form, which will provide us with a corpus of data which will be the basis for a ChatGPT of our own. We have also developed software for translation for 53 languages, which we are still upgrading. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, we are working on a model for mammogram processing, which operates using the principle of alarming when results require additional medical attention. As floods are a frequent occurrence here, we are currently developing solutions for their prediction and prevention – stated Culibrk and noted that their team had around 50 researchers at the time.

Let us remind that, in 2022, Serbia became part of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence and that it is one of the rare members from the group of developing countries. Also, in 2023, it became a member of the AI Governance Alliance of the World Economic Forum. According to the AI Readiness Index 2023, Serbia placed 57th among 193 countries, as the leader in the region, ahead of Croatia (70th), Montenegro (78th), North Macedonia (83rd), Albania (89th) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (117th).

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