La France se dote d’un laboratoire privé dédié à l’IA

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Called Kyutai, it aims to offer alternatives to AI models developed mainly by GAFAM. A daring bet! Even if its budget seems large (300 million euros), its means will remain modest compared to the American tech giants!

During the European AI-PULSE conference, President Emmanuel Macron had recalled France’s strategy in terms ofartificial intelligence : technological sovereignty, diffusion and regulation.

This sovereignty materialized with the creation in France of a private laboratory. Resolutely committed to the democratization of AI, Kyutai positions itself as a major player in open research, or open sciencein the field.

Brain drain

Funded in particular by Xavier Niel, CEO of Iliad (Free), Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of the logistics giant CMA-CGM and Éric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, Kyutai aims to create ” and research ecosystem intended to attract or retain French specialists in this field, who tend to expatriate to find more advantageous financial conditions in particular ».

Kyutai announces that it wants to tackle the main challenges of modern AI by developing large multimodal models (using text, but also sound, images, etc.) and by inventing new algorithms to improve their capabilities and reliability. and their effectiveness.

To do this, the laboratory will rely on the computing power made available to it by Scaleway, the subsidiary of the iliad Group. This is the largest amount of computing power deployed in Europe for AI applications to date.

On the gray matter side, Kyutai displays an organization chart that would make more than a start-up specializing in AI pale in comparison! Led by Patrick Perez, formerly of the automotive supplier Valeo, the scientific team includes former researchers from Meta’s FAIR and Google’s DeepMind.

Kyutai has assembled a team of renowned AI researchers as scientific advisors, including Yann LeCun, Head of AI at Meta, and Bernhard Schölkopf, German Leibniz Prize winner and AI researcher.

But, does this private company not risk slowing down the public research, unable to compete with high salaries? The poaching is already underway, since Hervé Jégou, who was to join the National Institute for Research in Digital Sciences and Technologies (INRIA), has become the “Chief Scientific Officer” of Kyutai.

Patrick Perez, who is also a former INRIA researcher, would like to recruit a team of 40 to 50 researchers. Kyutai also aims to train future experts in the discipline, by welcoming master’s students for internships in the laboratory and supervising doctoral students and post-doctoral students.

Since the announcement, another AI research center has been launched: theArtefact research center

With the support in particular of Société Générale, Orange and Décathlon, this service company specializing in the deployment of these technologies has already formed a team of researchers. There should be around thirty of them by 2025. This center collaborates with professors from around ten institutions such as the École Polytechnique, CentraleSupélec, Sorbonne University, the CNRS, the University of Paris-Saclay and the ESCP Business School. .

“Our objective is to build bridges between the academic world and businesses, on long-term projects, with cutting-edge researchers, in areas that Artefact masters” declared on Linkedin Vincent Luciani, Co-founder & CEO of Artefact


Image credit of one: benzoix – freepik

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