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French government plans to be the biggest Al industry in the world


French President Emmanuel Macron plans to chalk an AI strategy. He announced his intention at the Paris-based Collège de France research institute.

Macron expressed that he does not want France to “miss the AI train” as he plans to introduce measures designed to compete with the United States and China. He has pointed out towards ensuring that France adopts ethical measures to regulate the industry.

The new proposals are aimed, in part, at luring more top researchers to the country. Tech giants including Samsung, Google and Fujitsu have already announced plans to set up new AI centres in France.

Microsoft, has pledged to invest $30 million in France, opened France’s first AI school in Paris earlier this month to train students for the jobs of the future with a free seven-month course. The school plans to train 400,000 students over the next three years.

The French government is focusing on a multi-pronged strategy to boost its AI industry zooming in on four sectors: defense, health, transport and environment.

Macron hosted a dinner Wednesday for about a dozen AI specialists and industry leaders, including Yann LeCun, the New York-based Frenchman who until recently ran the AI research lab at Facebook, and Demis Hassabis of Britain’s DeepMind – creator of the AlphaGo system that beat a master player at the Chinese game “Go” in 2016 and which will open its first European research centre in France.

“Much of the discussion centred on the best way to accompany the huge changes made possible by artificial intelligence and their ethical implications, and to ensure they are beneficial to humanity,” said Marie-Paule Cani, who will hold Google’s new AI chair, of the evening’s exchanges.

“In terms of artifical intelligence, France has a few strengths but immense weaknesses compared to the US and China,” said Laurent Alexandre, an expert in artificial intelligence.

“They are miles ahead of us.”

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