Google's Ex-CEO Eric Schmidt, Amazon, Salesforce Propel France's Ambition To Be Global AI Leader

France is making strides in its bid to become a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI), backed by major U.S. tech companies.

What Happened: France is positioning itself as the next AI superpower. The recent Viva Technology conference in Paris highlighted the nation’s progress in AI, with French AI firm H, formerly known as Holistic, raising $220 million in seed funding from investors including Amazon and Google‘s ex-CEO Eric Schmidt, CNBC reported on Friday.

AI was a prominent feature at the Viva Tech conference, with U.S. tech firms like Salesforce CRM and Amazon Web Services AMZN showcasing their AI capabilities.

France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, stated that while U.S. tech giants’ support is appreciated, France aims to develop its own AI. The country is home to key AI research and development facilities, including the Facebook AI Research Center from Meta Platforms Inc. META and Google’s AI research hub.

France accounted for approximately 20% of total European AI startup funding in 2023, according to data from Dealroom. However, the U.K. still leads in AI and GenAI investment, raising more than double the amount than France.

"It's insane to have a world where the big giants just come from China and the U.S," President Emmanuel Macron said in a recent interview while praising French AI startup Mistral AI for gaining traction in the U.S. market

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Despite regulatory challenges, such as the recently approved EU AI Act, France remains committed to accelerating AI research and development.

Why It Matters: France’s AI ambitions have been on the rise. Earlier this month, France saw a surge in private investments, with Microsoft MSFT pledging 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion), marking its largest-ever investment in the country.

France, which houses some of Europe’s promising AI startups, also supported the EU AI Act, approved earlier this year after resisting it for several months. The Act imposes stringent regulations on AI applications.

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Photo by Alexandros Michailidis on Shutterstock.

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Pooja Rajkumari

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Posted In: NewsGlobalTechGeneralAI regulationAI startupsbig techEmmanuel MacronFrancePooja RajkumariUS
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