A key factor for France emerging as a leading center for research and development (R&D) in artificial intelligence (AI) is overcoming public concerns and outdated government regulations.
Last year, the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (Fair) lab was established in Paris to leverage French talent and the support of research institutions. One of Fair's research priorities is computer vision, and former Fair director Florent Perronnin says France is a strong leader in statistics-enabled computer vision R&D. He cites various institutes concentrating on computer vision, including Inria (the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation), Xerox in Grenoble, Technicolor in Rennes, and Facebook in Paris. Skills endemic to the French population, such as machine learning, dovetail with computer vision.
In addition, Tractica research director Aditya Kaul says computer vision is a chief AI application field, with already existing utility in image recognition/classification on mobile phones, emotion analysis and face recognition, and cancer detection.
However, France's population must warm to AI in general and overcome fears of job displacement for it to prosper. Kaul notes there currently is more dialogue in the U.S. of AI "helping to augment humans, improving the quality and efficiency of work" than in France.
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