French president launches national AI strategy

In an event hosted on 29 March at the College de France in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a national strategy in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), aimed at putting France on the map of leading country in AI. ‘[AI] is a technological, economical, social and obviously ethical revolution. This revolution won’t happen in 50 or 60 years, it’s happening right now. There are new opportunities and we can choose to follow some innovations or not,’ noted Macron in his intervention. The strategy is built on several pillars: support for AI research and development, sharing of new data sets by public entities, to be used for AI services, and regulations allowing companies to experiment in multiple industries (such as autonomous cars). Overall, France intends to invest €1.5 billion in AI initiatives by 2022. The strategy is said to be based on a report prepared by mathematician and member of the French Parliament Cedric Villani.