VivaTech 2024: France aims to become a world leader on AI but obstacles remain

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As VivaTech 2024 gets underway, France announced its volition to go a world leader successful AI. But finance and regularisation stay an obstacle.

"Today, successful continental Europe, France leads nan measurement successful nan improvement of artificial intelligence [AI]," Marina Ferrari, France’s Minister of State for Digital Affairs, has said arsenic nan VivaTech adjacent gets underway successful Paris.

"This is owed to nan argumentation we've been pursuing since 2017 of very beardown support for innovation," she told Euronews Next connected nan sidelines of a gathering connected Tuesday astatine nan Elysee Palace, wherever French president Emmanuel Macron group retired his imagination for AI successful nan country.

Ferrari said this is owed to nan French contented successful investigation "and successful peculiar very high-level world training".

There is simply a wealthiness of talent being trained successful France, immoderate of them person had to leave, she said.

"But complete nan past fewer years, we've seen that talent is not only returning, but immoderate of it is nary longer leaving, and coming we moreover person awesome world companies coming to put successful France".

The logic for France climbing onto nan world AI shape is mostly owed to its inaugural to support invention and start-ups, which nan state has been heavy investing successful since 2017.

"We tin spot that thing is really happening successful France. I deliberation that this reasonably fierce policy, which we've been pursuing for years now, is starting to carnivore fruit," she said.

"We request to proceed and intensify this movement".

Can France make it onto nan world AI stage?

France hopes to go a world leader successful AI.

But nan AI heavyweights are nan United States, China, and nan United Kingdom. France could "maybe" beryllium among nan world players, Eric Schmidt, Google’s erstwhile CEO and chairman, said astatine nan Elysee Palace gathering.

What is stopping France and Europe, he said, are precocious power costs, precocious taxes, and regulations compared to nan remainder of nan world.

"Most British and European firms waste retired excessively early, they don’t want to beryllium a trillion dollar institution they want to beryllium a cardinal dollar company," Schmidt said.

However, he said location are "plenty of different things" France tin do amended to pull companies to group up successful nan country, specified arsenic amended AI regulation, which would thief nan banking and financial assemblage want to do business successful France.

AI regularisation was a large talking constituent for European Commissioner for Internal Markets,  Thierry Breton, besides successful attendance astatine nan event, who said nan EU AI Act "creates 1 azygous norm for everyone, truthful it’s clear and useful".

While he said nan acts to explain regularisation for businesses were now successful place, financing is still an issue.

"Billions of euros time off Europe to put In nan US, we request to make judge invested successful Europe and that nan large task for nan adjacent commission," Breton said, adding that its 2nd task is to put heavy successful integer infrastructure.

AI that helps everyone

Another large talking constituent astatine nan arena was astir really AI should stay unfastened root truthful that everyone tin use from nan technology.

LaCun, known arsenic 1 of nan "godfathers of AI" said his biggest dream was “EU enlightenment" and his biggest fearfulness was AI "being captured by a mini number of entities".

"I’m an optimistic personification connected AI- existent tech is very constricted successful galore ways, still very acold from nan intelligence we observe successful humans and animals," nan French-American machine intelligence said.

"The biggest fearfulness I person is that a early successful which each our relationship pinch integer worlds will beryllium AI assistants," he said, adding that they request to beryllium trained to activity successful different cultures.

"One of nan biggest challenges for AI coming is that it needs divers and free AI systems".

Speaking astatine nan event, Arthur Mench, co-founder of French AI start-up champion Mistral AI, added that his interest is nan "US could build applications for each software. For america it’s a interest but not unavoidable".

"We should beryllium much decentralised successful measurement we deploy technology- specified arsenic for world south," he added.

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