France Wants to Become an Artifical Intelligence Hub


AI-Artifical Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence by machines, specifically computer systems. France President, Emmanuel Macron and his government are planning to launch a big initiative around artificial intelligence.

They want to transform France into one of the leading countries in the world if the subject is artificial intelligence.

France has the best mathematics and engineering schools and it also has some of the best data scientists and AI researchers. Many amongst these scientists and researchers work in California or London for Facebook, DeepMind etc. And the French government is planning to capitalize on this soft power to make an AI push.

For the question on, how to attract engineers and scientists? The answer from France’s government was quite complicated as they do not want to inject just public money call it D-day. They want to create an AI ecosystem with strong pillars. In the beginning, many private companies have opened or plan to open AI centers. FB and Google are already working with many researchers in Paris.

Silicon Valley is overflowing right now and the big technology companies need to find the talent outside of the US. Keeping this in mind, Samsung, Fujitsu, DeepMind, IBM and Microsoft all of them have announced plans to open offices in France so that they concentrate on AI research.

The INRIA (French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation) is planning to create a national AI research program with 4 or 5 partners. France is trying to invest $ 1.85 billion in several AI projects, from public research to startup investments with AI startups are given top priority.

An interesting part of Macron’s speech was the moral impact of artificial intelligence. When algorithms become prominent, there is a risk that they decide for you. The government wants the research projects or companies that are financed with public money should maintain transparency. The President feels that GDPR was a step in the right direction.

As Next INpact pointed out, this is not the first AI push, there have been multiple reports on AI – FranceIA, the CNIL, the OPECST and the European Economic and Social Committee all wrote their own recommendations regarding AI policies. At the end of the speech, it feels more like an inception than a conclusion.