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AI could bring £200bn to Mediterranean countries by 2030, study finds

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Researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have highlighted the correlation between scientific output and the returns that AI activity produces in Mediterranean countries.

A new study shows the importance that AI will have in the countries of the Mediterranean Arc, as well as its benefits in health, meteorology, the environment, the elderly, education and the public sector.

The report was commissioned by Mediterranean Geopolitics & Public Policies (Geomett) and presented to the European Parliament by VRAIN researchers from the UPV. 

The document highlights how Turkey has the fifth most significant investment in AI over the last ten years, spending almost $3.4bn (£2.7bn), and Israel ranks fourth among the MEA countries. 

The report's findings highlight that the growth of AI in the consumer, enterprise, government and defence sectors is increasing.

As a result, there has been a shift from talking and reporting on AI to planning and building AI solutions, the authors concluded. 

According to researcher and project manager of VRAIN, Aída Gil, the research demonstrated "the importance of collaborating countries with greater power in R&D&I with those that show worse results to help improve their situation, and the need to adopt measures that correct the imbalance between countries and promote actions that facilitate the implementation of AI technologies in those countries where their use is still deficient".

Gil stressed that the number of companies in the Mediterranean Arc that have already adopted digital technologies is "deficient".

This is particularly true of SMEs, the researcher said, even though the indicators of companies that have already adopted AI show their improvement in the entry of new markets, the improvement of products and services and the attraction of new clients. 

In order to bridge the AI gap, the report includes a set of recommendations that Mediterranean countries can implement to increase their use of these technologies.

The recommendations include the creation of a network of AI centres to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in this technology, the design of a system of aid to facilitate the stay of research staff and students in the centres, support for the implementation of AI in the most impoverished countries and the facilitation of training in AI technologies. 

The Mediterranean Arc is composed of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Palestine.

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