BDVA Task Forces

Generative AI / Foundation Models

Focus and activities

Area of interest: Generative AI.

The rise in generative AI, underpinned by new foundation models, offers numerous opportunities for businesses and society in Europe. The EC AI innovation package launched in January 2024 includes the GenAI4EU initiative, which aims to foster the development of new use cases and emerging applications. Industries and the public sector will require support to navigate this rapidly evolving landscape and effectively leverage generative AI within their organisations.

The challenges and opportunities presented by generative AI (GenAI) span across various domains, necessitating a comprehensive approach to address them effectively. One critical area is the need for a thoroughly developed infrastructure to train and operate foundational models, which can be facilitated through collaborations with programmes and the AI Factories through the Task Force HPC-BD-AI and our participation in the EuroHPC JU.

Additionally, GenAI workloads are known for their significant energy consumption, highlighting the necessity for optimisation strategies to mitigate their environmental impact.

Access to data, along with security and privacy, is paramount, including evaluating and countering systemic GenAI effects, such as the proliferation of synthetic data and the rise of cybersecurity threats like automated phishing and deep fakes. Another crucial aspect is the rigorous testing of both foundational and generative AI models to ensure their reliability and effectiveness.

Identifying the most accessible and impactful business or industry use cases for GenAI is essential, as is understanding and addressing the barriers and challenges to their adoption. The successful implementation and operation of foundational models and GenAI require specific technical skills, including the incorporation of human-in-the-loop systems.

Ensuring the explainability of foundational and GenAI models is critical for transparency and trust. Compliance with ethical standards and regulations, such as the AI Act, is necessary, achievable through collaboration with Task Force etami. Finally, providing guidance on the future stages of GenAI evolution, addressing forthcoming challenges and leveraging insights for technical and business strategies are vital for sustained progress in the field.

The Task Force Generative AI has set several medium- to long-term objectives to advance its mission. One key goal is to establish a forum that addresses the previously identified challenges and explores their impact on the practical implementation of Generative AI. This forum will foster collaboration, co-creation and the formation of partnerships, particularly in the realms of research, development and deployment of Generative AI and Foundation Model-based solutions, including new proposals for Horizon Europe.

Additionally, this task force aims to support European Commission initiatives like GenAI4EU and synthetic data projects by representing the viewpoints of BDVA members. It will also generate strategic content to positively influence stakeholders and assist members in adopting Generative AI technologies. This support will encompass both implementation and usage, covering knowledge about various foundation models and the need for new, specific industrial models.

This task force will collaborate closely with other BDVA task forces that intersect with Generative AI and Foundation Models. This includes both sector-specific areas, such as healthcare and cross-sectorial areas, such as high-performance computing (HPC), data spaces, etami, data protection and the trustworthiness of industrial AI, ensuring a comprehensive and unified approach to advancing AI technologies. The task force will also seek collaboration with existing partnerships and programmes, notably with Adra.

Contacts

Bradley Eck
Senior Research Scientist & Manager - AI for Sustainable Industry
IBM Research Europe - Ireland
Kristina Knaving
Focus Area Manager and Senior researcher and interaction designer
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden
Andrejs Vasiļjevs
Co-Founder, Executive Board Member
Tilde