Skip to Content
Artificial intelligence

The president of France is promoting AI, European style

April 2, 2018

After announcing plans last week for France to spend nearly $2 billion on AI research and development, President Emmanuel Macron discussed with Wired how France and the EU could not just become global players in AI, but fill a big gap in how the technology is applied to modern society.

The European model: Macron says that while the US and China may be in the lead for AI development, Europe is well placed—and has the right regulation—to create AI that can “assert collective preferences and articulate them with universal values.”

Translation: Macron sees the AI that US companies are creating as too focused on solving those companies’ problems, rather than citizens’. In China, meanwhile, the development of AI is ultimately carried out under the watchful eye of the central government. Europe, he maintains, offers a happy medium, balancing the needs of the collective with individual freedoms like people’s right to privacy. 

Transparency: Algorithms developed by the French government or companies that receive government funding will thus have to be open-source, and the data they use will need to be publicly available—no black boxes need apply. And though France won’t sign a ban against autonomous weapons, he is “dead against” their use.

A founding document: Part of what will guide French policy on the new AI quest is a report by Cédric Villani, a mathematician and French lawmaker. Villani suggested in a 152-page document released last week that France should focus its AI efforts around the health, environment, transport, and security sectors.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

Why Meta’s latest large language model survived only three days online

Galactica was supposed to help scientists. Instead, it mindlessly spat out biased and incorrect nonsense.

DeepMind’s game-playing AI has beaten a 50-year-old record in computer science

The new version of AlphaZero discovered a faster way to do matrix multiplication, a core problem in computing that affects thousands of everyday computer tasks.

A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft could unlock AI’s next big thing

Online videos are a vast and untapped source of training data—and OpenAI says it has a new way to use it.

Google’s new AI can hear a snippet of song—and then keep on playing

The technique, called AudioLM, generates naturalistic sounds without the need for human annotation.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.