France tries to shift policy to get competitive with Artificial Intelligence and Innovation

France has released a 152 page report “For a Meaningful Artificial Intelligence” written by Cédric Villani. Villani is a famous French mathematician and member of parliament. He led a study on how to develop the country’s AI economy.

* economic strategy for developing France’s AI ecosystem
* mitigate AI induced disruption
* proposes big increases in government spending on AI research, funds for backing AI startups, and programs to study the technology’s social impact. It also calls for vocational training to get more people into AI-related fields, as well as expanding university education programs to triple the number of graduates in AI fields by 2020.

France’s government has pledged to provide as much as 300 million euros ($370 million) a year for research and projects.

* Samsung said it would open a Paris AI center with 100 researchers
* Fujitsu said it would expand on its previously announced plan to invest $61 million in a Paris AI center over five years.
* London-based DeepMind said it would open a Paris lab with 15 researchers, with intentions to expand well beyond that. The Paris effort will be led by Remi Munos, one of DeepMind’s principal research scientists, who will be tasked with establishing the company’s presence in his native France

France sees China and the USA as the national AI heavyweights. The emerging AI powers are seen as the UK, Canada and Israel. Each are developing extremely different approaches.

The french task force recommends focusing on four key sectors:
* healthcare
– early detection of diseases
– the 4 Ps of healthcare (personalized, preventive, predictive and participatory healthcare)
– elimination of medical deserts

* environment
* transportmobility
* defense-security.

The report recommends reviewing France’s public procurement. The budget is estimated at close to 70 billion euros for the State, public authorities and local bodies each year and it is insufficiently oriented towards innovation. Public procurement needs to support European industries and at
breathing fresh momentum into innovative public spending.