Open letter

Making AI Adoption Happen in Europe

To all AI Guild members and shareowners

AI Guild
5 min readAug 27, 2020


To our members and shareowners: Following the community survey of September 2019 and the overwhelming majority of members opting for setting up a second, commercially-oriented arm, we are pleased to announce the registration of the AI Guild GmbH (Berlin, HRB 208192B).

Based on 1000s of conversations among 100s of members at 50+ AI Guild events we now take the next steps towards the purpose that we defined together: advancing AI adoption and growing the go-to community for data practitioners.

Let’s invest in the future of the AI Guild, especially around key issues such as use cases, data careers, and networking. For members and for companies in our ecosystem, we have an emerging portfolio of professional services, e.g. events on use cases and data careers, dedicated career coaching to guide career advancement from the early years, and accreditation for senior practitioners. One of our first projects is tackling the European challenge of advancing the deployment of use cases in data analytics and machine learning, the #datalift.

The AI Guild is delivering four out of the Top 5 members’ expectations: Networking, Consulting opportunities, Career coaching, and Finding a mentor.

Anonymized data from the AI Guild member application form, based on 560 responses to August 2020

At this point, the GmbH is just a nucleus with plans for the growth of the business and for creating more benefits for the community. It is open to your ideas and contribution. Legal registration will provide a stronger frame for our community activities: Starting from the imprint on the websites, and all the way to you being a shareowner, and having the AI Guild as a second leg in terms of professional opportunities including freelance, employment, and co-founding.

#datalift — deploying use cases

The commitment to push for a European #datalift for deploying data analytics and machine learning emerged from a confluence of perspectives by AI Guild members. The COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult moment. It is impacting our health, economy, and livelihood; and it is spurring the creation of digital data. This is the time for business and government to seize the one great opportunity we have: Scale the data economy.

The AI Guild is uniquely suited for initializing the #datalift because of its singular capacity to lead use cases and build data careers. We will connect this capacity with a critical mass of experts in industry and startups, and the one million data-literate graduates to 2022.

The #datalift campaign is going live on 25 September 2020 online with use case demonstrations from leading corporates, startups, and experts. As practitioners, we combine data and domain expertise in order to identify the relevant use cases for the existing data. From the many different techniques, we are able to select the one with the outcome that not only fits the training data but also fits the needs of the end-users.

As the #datalift focuses on use cases, you benefit from ongoing interactions and relevant exchanges with peers with similar challenges across industries, methods, and technology.

We will all mutually benefit from the visibility that this campaign is generating. Do support the campaign by using some of the campaign materials that have been prepared for social media (download the zip file or see it online). Be recognized as part of the movement pushing for what matters most for getting back on our feet economically, and in order to provide a future for the one million data-literate European graduates over the next years.

We actively are looking for business and government partnerships, investing in the #datalift. You may benefit directly from the knowledge, of which European players are investing in a downturn, and where opportunities emerge in terms of B2B customers, freelance contracts, and new employment.

You may also step up and join the AI Guild GmbH in identifying companies investing in data analytics and machine learning and delivering the #datalift. Such a contract will also build your network with companies that take data seriously and raise your use case competence profile.

Our ambition is to stop the proof-of-concept cycle in Europe and move the data ecosystem towards deploying. We will pursue this by setting the example and delivering end-to-end value chains. Companies will get the confidence they need, data talents will get the chance to learn-by-doing. Embracing continuous production will raise investment in the data economy and start a virtuous cycle.

#datacareer — senior accreditation and coaching for advancing careers

Data careers need standards: We are skeptical of the more parochial attempts that mainly serve a national or disciplinary or company perspective. Our goal is to transparently establish international and interdisciplinary standards that foster diversity.

The most important point of reference is the senior level. It is also the most protracted issue on the freelance and labor market as well as inside companies. Defining the standard for senior-level is about quality assurance, trust, and standing of data professionals in the field, in companies, and in the public eye. Setting the standard for senior is also the key to defining career ladders and paths to the senior level, and then onwards as experts in technical, product, and business roles.

The AI Guild is implementing two key solutions

  1. The independent accreditation board for the senior level
  2. The coaching program for the first five years

As the AI Guild community, we all are in this together, setting the standard as the accreditation board and as applicants to the board, as coaches and as coachees. As we roll out the solutions, there is a lot of room for growth and engagement, especially as we accommodate specializations, e.g. data analysis, data science, data engineering, computer vision, or natural language processing.

You benefit from being recognized as part of the practitioner community solving the data career puzzle and raising the standing of the profession. And beyond that, you have exclusive access to the dedicated experts setting the standards as well as the state of the art and its evolution. As a community member, you also have a head start for building and improving your own career, and the careers of your team.

More specifically, you have new opportunities. For all practitioners in Year 1 through 5 the coaching program applications are now open, and we will launch a new cohort every three months starting from 01 October 2020. Practitioners, from January 2021, may apply to the accreditation board for the senior level. In a rigorous and independent peer-review, your competence profile, portfolio, and impact record will be assessed. Success in front of the accreditation board means you officially will be recognized as a senior practitioner.

If you are a senior expert, the AI Guild calls on you to serve on the accreditation board and be a peer reviewer. If you are a senior practitioner, you are invited to act as a coach and mentor on the program.

In setting the standard for data careers the AI Guild provides quality assurance for the whole ecosystem, including hiring, promotion, and freelance contracts. We provide guidance on data career ladders and specialized paths. We foster diversity and ethical AI. We advance public trust and credibility. The AI Guild delivers on its founding letter.

Chris Armbruster, Dania Meira, Sven Krüger



AI Guild

Publications of the AI Guild and it’s members