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TECHNOLOGY

Google to open artificial intelligence lab in Paris

Google on Monday announced it will open a research centre in Paris devoted to artificial intelligence, following a meeting between the tech giant's boss and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Google to open artificial intelligence lab in Paris
Photo: AFP
“The different achievements in this country, including in science, art and the academic field make it an ideal place for the creation of a centre of theoretical research in artificial intelligence,” Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement.
   
The announcement came as Macron welcomed 140 multinational business leaders to Versailles in Paris on Monday night, ahead of the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.
   
Google said it will be extend it's headquarters in the capital to accommodate the centre — the third to open worldwide, after California and Switzerland.
 
The number of staff in Paris is set to increase from 700 to 1,000.
   
Facebook earlier announced its intention to double the number of researchers at its own AI centre, opened in Paris in 2015, from 30 to 60.
   
The social media giant will also invest 10 million euros by 2022 to “accelerate artificial intelligence” in France.
   
The announcements “signal the competitiveness of France” in the growing sector, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.
   
Both companies intend to open programmes in France to help train tens of thousands of people in digital skills.

LIVING IN FRANCE

France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier

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