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France Digitale: catalyst for AI in industry – unifying, transmitting and creating synergies

France Digitale: catalyst for AI in industry – unifying, transmitting and creating synergies

Artificial intelligence is not just a trend, but rather a real transformation of industries that requires a serious approach. According to the CNIL “artificial intelligence AI is a logical and automated process generally based on an algorithm and capable of carrying out well-defined tasks”. For the European Parliament, “artificial intelligence constitutes any tool used by a machine to reproduce behaviors linked to humans, such as reasoning, planning and creativity…”

Today, some French manufacturers have understood the benefit of integrating AI into their Supply Chain because its applications are numerous and useful. It can be found in all or part of product flows, information flows, physical infrastructures and human organizations, from suppliers to the final customer. It can thus improve predictive maintenance, find advanced engineering and quality control solutions, participate in process optimization, aiming for example to improve the efficiency and availability of machines or even optimize energy consumption. . AI therefore opens up very promising horizons for the industry, strengthening its efficiency, flexibility and reliability at all levels.

In France, according to a Pôle emploi (France Travail) survey from June 2023 “Employers facing artificial intelligence *” The use of AI is particularly important in industry for half of the establishments surveyed. Employers using AI first report positive effects on employee activity, particularly in the development of skills. For 77% of industrial employers, AI leads to the reduction of tedious tasks and has a positive effect on the health and safety of employees.

With the aim of allowing industrial SMEs, mid-sized companies and large companies to see more clearly both the uses of AI and the regulations and obligations it imposes, the France Digitale association intends to update their provision of facilitating and educational tools. Meeting with Alexandre Labarriere, Communications & Marketing Director of France Digitale.

(Source Report of the interministerial committee on artificial intelligence, March 2024)

Can you briefly explain to us what France Digitale is and what its challenges are in relation to AI?
France Digitale has existed since 2012, we are the largest independent association of start-ups and investors with more than 2000 active members. Our role is to bring together all the players who revolve around innovation. We carry everyone's voice so that their issues are well understood from a political but also economic point of view. We organize more than fifty events per year, including our annual mass, France Digitale Day, which takes place in September and which allows meetings with leading French and European players in the tech community and public decision-makers with the aim of discuss the latest trends. Our role is also to lobby for education with politicians on all subjects that affect the ecosystem and finally we also produce a lot of educational content and mappings of start-ups according to certain themes... Our role is to offer a wide range of documentary resources useful to everyone.

Regarding AI, France Digital is historically positioned on the subject. Indeed, for 8 years, with France is AI and FD3, France Digitale has been organizing a major “AI Day” event to make Paris one of the key places for AI in Europe and in the world. In this context, on April 4 we will offer a state of the art of research and innovations, and conferences on concrete subjects, for example: How can AI transform my profession? Or, how can I use AI to move the lines in my business?

If these events concern all sectors of activity, how does France Digitale establish specific synergies with the world of industry?

During the 2023 edition (the FD3), for example, we chose ArcelorMittal as one of our biggest partners. This steel group is a very good example of industrialists' awareness of the fact that AI and, more generally, innovation are vectors for transforming their production methods. ArcelorMittal has a real logic of innovation in the group as well as support for start-ups, particularly in industrial decarbonization processes. However, we are aware that not all industrial companies have taken up the subject. This is why we decided to help them better understand the role of innovation and AI in their businesses. With in particular the release last year of a mapping of start-ups serving the Industry. We list around 900 start-ups whose business model is specifically aimed at health, energy, aeronautics, etc. industries. And among these start-ups, the largest contingent concerns start-ups related to AI for industry. Our role is then to respond to the problems of manufacturers by helping them define their needs and providing them with solutions developed by our start-ups.

Today, more than ever, Joseph Schumpeter's concept of "creative destruction" is at the heart of the subject of AI. How do you approach it with industrialists who are worried about their professional future?
Overall, there is a legitimate question. But we insist on pedagogy, training, increasing skills both in understanding what AI is and in its use. We believe that it is essential to promote its facilitating aspect of the employee's daily life and in this context HR has a real role to play... this is a new industrial revolution!

Proof that AI is the subject of the moment in France but also in Europe, on March 13, the artificial intelligence commission submitted its report to the President of the Republic. It is notably specified that AI must not arouse excessive pessimism or excessive optimism and must above all obey new regulatory obligations. This last point is the subject of a European bill: the Artificial Intelligence Act.

France Digitale greatly contributed to the development of the AI Act, but what does this law consist of?

The AI Act is the first-ever AI legal framework, addressing AI risks and positioning Europe to play a leading role globally. While the regulation on Artificial Intelligence was voted on by member states on February 2, 2024, it is now highly likely that the AI Act will come into force by June 2024. From the start, when the text began to To be thoughtful, we were one of the first contributors, with the aim of clarifying the challenges for creators of innovations in regulating AI without restricting it. Our role today is to help companies anticipate possible compliance measures that they should adopt. This is why we have created and put online with Wavestone and Gide a “compliance guide” https://francedigitale.org/publications/ai-act-guide-mise-en-conformite. This practical guide was created with checklists and very concrete examples, which allow you to define the risk of your AI and anticipate the next steps in bringing your AI system into compliance. Concretely, companies will have to map their AI systems and their level of risk: from low risk to unacceptable risk.

France Digitale is therefore emerging as a major player in the artificial intelligence ecosystem within the industry, by promoting active collaborations and strategic alliances. While AI is establishing itself as an essential component of industrial processes, France Digitale is committed through its actions to supporting companies in their transition. Through its initiatives, France Digitale is paving the way for fruitful collaboration between industry and AI, thus offering new perspectives for the future of French industry
*: Survey based on the responses of a representative sample of 3,000 establishments with 10 or more employees, interviewed in May by telephone by BVA with the aim of having an initial approach to the uses of Artificial Intelligence by employers..

Le 22 mars 2024 par Gl events

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