France is tapping into AI's potential for humanity

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(Image credit: Image Credit: Devrimb / iStockPhoto)

Antoine Bruel, head of growth at Braincities and Céline Pluijm, key account manager at Wiidii share their thoughts on why France is fast-becoming a leader in establishing ‘AI for humanity’, fresh from Hello Tomorrow 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. Across industry verticals, it’s being used to enable businesses and organisations to work smarter and faster than ever before. From automating repetitive transactions and manual tasks to powering customer support platforms, AI is transforming the way we work, live and interact with the world.     

According to PwC research, AI is estimated to provide $15.7 trillion in economic growth by 2030, creating opportunities for innovation on a global scale. AI, however, is as much a source of fascination as it is a cause for concern. As experts and citizens alike worry over how ubiquitous robots have become and bias in algorithms, France is actively engaged in defining the ethical and legal framework around this game-changing technology - firmly establishing itself as a global leader in AI development.

AI with purpose

With that goal in mind, French mathematician and lawmaker Cedric Villani gathered a team of experts to define how a “meaningful artificial intelligence” would translate into action. The winner of the 2010 Fields Medal (the so-called “maths Nobel Prize”), Villani has identified four areas where AI could be used for common good: healthcare, defense, transportation and environment. By opening open data platforms in these fields, organisations could help researchers and entrepreneurs improve public services, for instance by predicting traffic jams and air pollution peak episodes more accurately, or planning housing construction, renovation and demolition better.

Stakeholders are also joining forces in the quest to promote “AI for Humanity”. The government recently launched its AI for Humanity programme coordinated by Inria, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation. As part of the programme, four academic networks (called 3IA institutes) across the country work on healthcare, self-driving cars, energy and safety issues. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

AI for humanity

With the support of La French Tech, the government-backed movement bolstering France as one of the best countries in the world to start and scale up global tech champions, France is witnessing a boom in the number of ‘AI for good’-focused scale-ups aiming to better our world.   

One start-up, Braincities, is tapping into AI to identify and analyse emerging trends that will enable businesses to anticipate and adapt resource allocation strategies thanks to accurate and ‘context-aware recommendations. One use case for the technology is within the HR space, enabling employers to understand how jobs are evolving as well as to identify specific talents and skills, therefore matching the right person with the right job at the right time. What's more, Braincities is giving cities and public figures deep insight into the population's employability & wellbeing. The company leverages data (human capital data, industry & markets, social networks, media) in order to provide decision-makers with insight into the overall wellbeing & potential of workers in a certain area.

Wiidii is another promising French scale-up that is changing the way we think of AI and in making sure consumers lives are ultimately made simpler and easier. This innovative mobile application combines both a highly developed artificial intelligence with a human personal assistant – officially the world’s first hybrid personal assistant. Wiidii has endless applications across the business and consumer sector and in the new year, it plans to expand internationally and consolidate its presence in the digital assistance market.

As AI continues to permeate all aspects of our society, France has made it clear it intends to have a  strong say in the ethics of the use cases of AI. The French ecosystem advocates for a loyal and transparent use of AI, the only kind that can work for the common good and will continue to support and promote organisations that share those same values.   

Antoine Bruel, Head of Growth at Braincities 

Céline Pluijm, Key Account Manager at Wiidii