PARIS REGION: INTERNATIONAL STRONGHOLD OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
It’s obviously no accident that Microsoft, Fujitsu or even Amazon chose Paris Region as their center for research and development. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence, top-notch researchers and engineers together with dynamic, innovative companies is what makes Paris Region a strategic ecosystem designed to anticipate tomorrow’s technological disruptions.
“Paris Region is already an international stronghold of Artificial Intelligence” asserts Mark Zuckerberg as early as 2015 during the FACEBOOK AL RESEARCH (FAIR) inauguration. In June 2017, confirmed this analysis by choosing Paris Region “ideal breeding ground for the digital world thanks to the quality of its researchers and engineers” for the location of STATION F, the world’s biggest startup campus.
These champions of the new economy are not the only ones to have chosen Paris Region for the location of their Artificial Intelligence R&D centers. AMAZON, with its development center PRIME AIR, China’s HUAWEI, Japan’s RAKUTEN, FUJITSU and SONY or even the U.S. company XEROX have all made the same choice.
Why? Simply because Paris Region is an innovation accelerator.
FROM FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH TO MULTI-SECTORAL APPLICATIONS
From smartphones to autonomous cars, from call centers to bank fraud detection, Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing not only all the industry sectors (Transport, Telecoms, Energy, etc.) but also the Finance sector which is particularly interested in data analysis processing and market forecasting. AI development relies essentially on mathematical excellence because it feeds on Big Data and is built on complex algorithms. " All of the researchers at the Facebook Artificial Intelligence laboratory, located in the Parisian suburb of Palaiseau and Paris Region, are French and managed by French. " observes Cédric Villani, mathematician, Fields Medal 2010, and government-appointed AI project manager since last September.
In fact, Paris Region is the international leader in mathematics research. PARIS-ÉCOLE NORMALE SUPÉRIEURE has the highest number of graduates who have received the Fields Medal, the Nobel prize equivalent for mathematics. Aside from the ENS, the Paris Region boasts 12 engineering schools and 3 universities with AI masters programs. According to the Artificial Intelligence Observatory in France, more than half of the 457 companies and research teams working on AI are based out of Paris Region.
A UNIQUE EUROPEAN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM
Fundamental research interacts with applied research, innovation and entrepreneurship to form an ecosystem. The French citizen Yann Le Cun, known as one of the fathers of deep learning, is a perfect example of this cross fertilization because he’s both “Computer and Digital Sciences” Chair at the Collège de France and Director at FAIR, the Facebook AI laboratory that collaborates with the French National Institute for computer science (INRIA).
For giants such as Facebook and Microsoft, the presence of the INRIA was a determining factor in choosing a Smart Region. The opening of Facebook’s research laboratory in Paris is welcome news for the entire French scientific community, esteems François Sillon, Executive Vice President of INRIA sciences. “By forging relationships built on trust with this kind of laboratory, our scientists can tackle their research on the most up-to-date concerns and today’s real challenges that digital companies face. We have already identified avenues for promising collaborations. One of the advantages of this partnership is the ability to test ideas, algorithms based on the complexity of real data, or on high dimensional graphs.”
Another example of the aforementioned cross fertilization is the Group ATOS. They are the international digital transformation leader that has formed a partnership with the ENS and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Saclay, France to work on Big Data and Machine Learning. The hybridization of research and applications development is the driving force for innovation. It’s promoted among 9 Paris Region clusters including Systematic and Cap Digital which are dedicated entirely to digit.
The “France AI” plan launched at the beginning of 2017 by the French government anticipates numerousconcrete initiatives: the candidacy for a "Flagship project relating to emerging technologies" set forth by the European Union, the mobilization of multiple sectors (automotive, finance, health, railway transport, customer relations) so that each of them defines their AI strategy, a call for projects before the end of 2017 for sectoral platforms designed for data sharing and a financing plan for startups via public and private resources. In addition, Serena Capital, an €80M fund, has been raised for investments in big data and AI.
HYPERACTIVE MAJOR PLAYERS IN AI AND MACHINE LEARNING DEVELOPMENT...
The AI sector is a growth driver in France and, more specifically, in Paris Region. Major players such as ACCENTURE, ACTEMIUM, CISCO, EDF, BPCE GROUP, NVIDIA, ORACLE, PSA GROUP, RENAULT, SFR, SNC, SYSTRA, VALÉO, VINCI ENERGIES... and others are already committed to an Open Innovation approach.
These large corporations confirm that the future will hold an important place for Machine Learning directly linked to Big Data for the aggregation of information and Artificial Intelligence for decision-making.
... AND BURGEONING STARTUPS
The ecosystem’s performance also relies on a sizable regional presence of startups. With thousands of startups, Paris Region is the European capital of technological innovation. In the field of AI, C-RADAR, which has partnered with the SIDETRADE GROUP based in Boulogne Billancourt, France, spearheadsmachine learning and has become the leader in predictive marketing. In particular, it employs data mining and semantic analysis specialists. We’ve also discovered the very popular SNIPS, whose platform interconnects all the terminals via a vocal interface with neither the need to be connected nor the need to send personal data into the cloud and totally independent from GAFAM. In June 2017, a driving force and tool for intuitive research, raised €47M. CLUSTREE, an HR recommendation platform raised €7M in its third round of fund raising. JULIE DESK, a virtual assistant, is currently tackling the large accounts market. DATAIKU, a big data specialist, just raised $14M and plans to become the leading publisher of predictive analytics. Paris Region boasts numerous other startups in today’s spotlight such as HUGGING FACE, BIRDLY, CYBERANGEL, or even ALAN.
Paris Region is a unique ecosystem that brings together fundamental and applied research, large corporations and startups. This high added value allows it to legitimately showcase its labeling as an internationally ranked smart region that knows how to welcome and support companies looking for the ideal breeding grounds for development.