Samsung and Fujitsu pick France for new AI research centres

South Korean giant Samsung said Wednesday it will set up its third-biggest research centre for artificial intelligence in France.

Samsung and Fujitsu pick France for new AI research centres
A robot shakes salt over popcorn. Photo: AFP
The announcement was made by Samsung Electronics president and chief strategy officer, Young Sohn, during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
At the same time, Japanese group Fujitsu also announced it would set up a European AI research centre in France, expanding the small research activities it already has in the country and transferring to it all of its researchers from elsewhere in Europe, Macron's office said.
Fujitsu's research centre would work in partnership with France's INRIA National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control.
Samsung's new AI centre would be the group's third-biggest in the world after two in South Korea and the United States and would eventually employ more than 100 researchers, the French president's office said.
It would be headed by Luc Julia, the French researcher who invented Apple's voice-activated assistant Siri, and who has since moved to Samsung.
Until now, Samsung has employed only around 15 researchers at a small centre in France.
The announcements by Samsung and Fujitsu come as France ratches up its ambitions to become a leading site for AI research.


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