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France to invest $1.85 billion in artificial intelligence through 2022

Samsung and Fujitsu announce further investments in artificial intelligence

French president Emmanuel Macron said his government would invest 1.5 billion euros ($1.85 billion) into artificial intelligence (AI) research until the end of his term in 2022 as part of a strategy to accelerate innovation.

“We have to be in a position to build, in France and in Europe, an artificial intelligence ecosystem,” Macron said. “We should have a policy of open data and we also have to think on the subject from a political and ethical point of view to come up with a common understanding and rules.”

“This is the way that we can guarantee our future industry. We should not be afraid and we should not refuse change,” said Macron.

Last week, South Korean giant Samsung Electronics announced plans to set up its third-biggest research center for artificial intelligence (AI) in France.

Samsung’s new AI facility would be Samsung Electronics’ third-biggest in the world after two in South Korea and the US. The AI hub in France would eventually employ more than 100 researchers, the French government said.

The Samsung centre currently employs a team of 15 people in Paris. The company aims to employ a total of 50 scientists by the end of 2018, according to local media reports.

Samsung’s new facility is expected to be based either in Paris or in Saclay, in the capital’s south-west outskirts.

Additionally, Japanese firm Fujitsu said it was boosting its research activities in Europe, including an extension of its AI Center of Excellence (CoE) in Paris-Saclay. The Japanese firm said it plans to recruit additional researchers for is French facility.

Fujitsu also announced it has joined an EU Horizon 2020 research project, with the aim to develop a solution to reinforce the security of banking networks.

The project will introduce a novel predictive and integrated approach to the cyber and physical security of critical infrastructures in the financial sector. Data-driven AI-based mechanisms will identify and anticipate security incidents, enabling financial institutions to handle more complex attacks and to comply with regulations faster and at less cost, Fujitsu said.

The company said that over 30 artificial intelligence projects are already working at the firm’s CoE in France, focusing on the use of video analytics in the retail and industrial sectors. Fujitsu and Inria, a French research institute dedicated to digital technology, have established a long-term research and a co-creation program at Paris-Saclay to develop new AI and machine learning techniques by leveraging advanced mathematics and computing.

“This extension underlines Fujitsu’s ongoing investment in developing Artificial Intelligence solutions to help drive our customers’ businesses,” said Duncan Tait, corporate executive officer and Head of Americas and EMEIA at Fujitsu.

“The expansion of our AI CoE in Paris-Saclay further reinforces our substantial AI capabilities in Europe, in addition to our existing network of competency centers which offer innovative AI services to our customers – including an Innovation Center for Data Analytics in Madrid, Spain, which is focused on heritage data integration, and our Industry 4.0 Center in Munich, Germany.”

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