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Weekly press review | How is Estonia planning for its future?

Kersti Kaljulaid visit to the US

The President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid visited the White House this week together with the heads of state of Latvia and Lithuania, to meet with President Donald Trump about security issues and how to strengthen the NATO Treaty. Enric Niller, editor at Wired, had the chance to interview her. One of the journalist’s main concern was the citizens’ trust towards the government in Estonia. The President explained that: “Our people are not anonymous on the internet. It has always been secure. If you try to transact with someone online, you would not do it with an e-mail and pay with a credit card. What we do instead is create an encrypted channel and sign a contract that is time stamped.”

Another highlight of the interview was about the discussion on how to legalize the Artificial Intelligence services such as fully autonomous public transportation. Kaljulaid again remarked her vision on the matter: “We want our state to be proactive in offering services to people. We need to carefully consider how to make these services safe to our people and their private data. We want AI to be safely grown in Estonia.”

This article was originally published in Wired. Read the full interview here.  


 

Estonia ranked second in the global transformation index

The yearly ranking, completed by the independent German foundation Bertelsmann Stiftung, puts Estonia at the second place as economic transformation. According to the index, Estonia has largely recovered from the economic recession of 2008 and 2009: “This recovery was aided by the innovativeness and efficiency of both the public and private sector”.

Estonia has a vibrant digital economy and is the most knowledge-intensive of the Central and East European countries. Around a third of total exports to other EU countries involve hi-tech products and services, but the country still produces mostly low- or medium-level technological goods. The government has pioneered several digital initiatives in the public sector, for example electronic medical records, internet voting and online tax returns, concludes the report.

Read the full report here.


 

Government is testing Blockchain for car accident reporting

During a visit to the Atlantic Council, an American think tank in international affairs, the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid has described Estonian Government as a public organization that anticipates the services its citizens need without them having to go through an application process. If a family has a child, for example, the government will know about the birth, so the social services provided to new families should be automatically offered and administered.

Blockchain can help make this a reality, Kaljulaid said. “The government is currently piloting a blockchain application related to traffic accident reporting. Once an accident is reported and registered online, the parties involved would be provided information on how the resolution of the case and the insurance outcome. With Blockchain the entire case could be handled in 30 minutes,” Kaljulaid stated.

This article was originally published in GCN. Read the full interview here.

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