French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne spoke of the potential and also the concerns connected to artificial intelligence last week as she launched a specialist committee that will help guide and set the national strategy on generative AI and its uses.
Generative artificial intelligence is defined as AI that can be used to generate content such as text, images and even audio, and it’s an emerging and exciting technology that the French government is keen to address head-on.
Last week, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne officially launched the first national level committee, which is composed of specialists from a variety of relevant sectors, that will set the future AI strategy for France. The committee has been given an initial six months to come up with a game plan.
The committee will be co-chaired by Philippe Aghion, an economist specialising in innovation, and Anne Bouverot, the president of the Board of Directors of the École Normale Supérieure (ENS). In all, it will be made up of 15 members, including: Gilles Babinet, President of the National Digital Council; Luc Julia, an expert in generative artificial intelligence; Cédric O, a consultant and former Secretary of State for the digital realm; and Yann Le Cun, Vice-Pesident and leading AI scientist at Meta (formerly the Facebook Group).
CHANGE IS COMING
“AI will profoundly change our societies,” said Borne in a statement released on social media. “Both promising and a source of questions, it is essential to anticipate its challenges to ensure our sovereignty and to protect our fellow citizens. This is the reason for the AI committee that we are launching today.”
During the opening of the committee, Borne touched on points related to the AI industry, expressing a desire to train and develop more talent in France, promote investment in French innovation, and to define appropriate regulations for the different sectors to protect against abuses.
A 2018 report on AI by mathematician Cédric Villani really put the technology on the French government’s radar. After its release, President Emmanuel Macron called for money to be earmarked for this technology under the France 2030 plan. This national investment plan is endowed with €34 billion, which includes €30 billion in subsidies and €4 billion in funding schemes to be deployed over five years.
Last June, Macron followed up on these measures, saying, “In the field of AI, I want France to be champion and position itself at the forefront of this new revolution.”
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Photo source: Elisabeth Borne / X