Artificial Intelligence in France
In recent years, Ai has entered a new era, one that gives rise to many hopes. Most notably, this hope has been tied to the recent success of machine learning. Thanks to complex algorithms, increased computing power and the exponential growth of human and machine-generated data, various applications have been developed in translation, transport (driverless cars), health (cancer detection) that can transform society as we know it. France would like to see this technological innovation jump start a sleepy economy with weak social mobility.
France has looked to stay ahead of the technological curve by establishing an economic policy based on data. This policy seeks to bring the private and public workforces together for greater overall societal advancement. France has had a long history of technological innovations in their society, from the invention of the Braille system for the blind and Pasteurization to Denis Papin's work with steam combustion which laid the groundwork for Fitch and Fulton's steam engine technology; so the idea of being left behind by the automation polices of northern Europe was unthinkable. The government in recent years has officially enacted a national strategy for France to been to build a data-focused economic policy.
This policy is aimed at promoting data access, as well as the circulation and sharing of data. As we know, data is the raw material of Ai, and the emergence of new uses and applications depends on it. Government plays an important role in collecting data. Government should therefore promote another data production and governance pattern, focusing on reciprocity, collaboration and exchange.
A clear policy to focus on three strategic sectors:
The line between public and private research has become more blurred in France. France wants to spur the academic progress of Ai education throughout the country to benefit both public and private parts of the economy. The government has proposed taking drastic steps to keep up France's academic innovation. These ideas have included proposing that the formal education system should be overhauled in order to promote experimental teaching methods.
The Annual “France is Ai” conference looks to celebrate the French Ai ecosystem as well as offer an exchange on the latest research, applications or debate the societal implications and build bridges with the other Ai hubs such as the US, UK, Switzerland and China.
The target for France is to triple the number of Ai graduates within 3 years. To achieve this, France's Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has looked to take the following two steps: tailoring the existing training courses of French students to be centered on Ai learning and creating new courses and new training programs in Ai.
The rise of artificial intelligence is calling for an overhaul of not just training methods but also training content. France's Ministry of Labor is recommending launching a series of actions aimed at fostering creativity and innovative practices in the vocational training sector, school education and higher education and research sectors. The Ministry of Labor would like to eventually set up pooling mechanisms and financing tools that are common to the three above sectors. The aim is to develop new experimental teaching methods at various levels (project-based teaching, cross-disciplinary teaching, peer-to-peer teaching, etc.).
France wants an inclusive and diverse Ai field that allows for the societal progression of the poorest students. France currently faces a lot of problems with respect to their inclusivity and diversity.
Despite the slow but steady feminization of scientific and technical sectors, digital technologies remain something of an exception, with gender balance still very far off. And, lack of diversity can lead algorithms to reproduce often unconscious cognitive bias in program design, data analysis and the interpretation of results. So, it is crucial that public authorities support the development of AI-based initiatives in the social arena. Ai-led innovation capabilities remain very focused within a small number of companies in France. Setting aside healthcare, social fields receive only a tiny portion of private investment. The corporate culture of giving back to their community is not as strong as in other countries. France still has a significant social class issue with respect to divisions and mobility within the classes.
The mission of France's Ai industry is to remedy many of these social issues that France faces. The hope is to build a dynamic landscape within the French Ai ecosystem. An ideal Ai ecosystem that is built for the benefit of the community, not just the upper classes and elites, but enriches the masses and brings about greater equality throughout France.