Artificial Intelligence plays a key role in the transformation strategies of our customers. It is currently at the centre of a fierce battle between the world’s leading high-tech giants, GAFAM in the US and BATX in China. They will dominate the field unchallenged if the rest of the world does nothing.
Responding to the challenge, French President Emmanuel Macron commissioned a study to formulate a strategy for developing IA expertise in France. This study led to the creation of four Interdisciplinary Institutes of Artificial Intelligence, referred to as 3IAs. These institutes bring together institutional, academic and industrial players to work on specific research topics. The budget comes from private and academic investment and is topped up to 100% by the government.
The Federal University of Toulouse is one of four candidates selected for its ANITI project (Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute). Scalian has joined this project, which is targeting the fields of transport, the environment and health. In these fields, the three main cornerstones of research are IA applied design, decision-support and the optimisation of industrial processes, acceptability (from a social, economic, legal and ethical standpoint), and certifiable explainability.
Scalian is primarily involved in the last two areas. These are major issues for regulated industries. To certify their systems, they need to be able to explain how they work. Certification organisations demand full visibility. At the same time, they need to understand the operations that led to a given result, even if that result is correct. The reach of IA is currently limited in this respect since Machine/Deep Learning technologies function as black boxes.
Our contribution involves making Data Science resources available to the IRT Saint Exupéry institute in Toulouse as well as In Montreal. This gives us access to Canada, which is a hotbed of AI activity. Through its involvement, Scalian will be able to take part in developing AI strategies with leading manufacturers such as Airbus, Safran, Thales, CNES (French space agency), Syngenta, Continental and many others.
Based on new collaborative models, this long-term project will ensure that our work remains closely aligned with the interests of our customers. It also makes us a de facto player in the defence of France’s national interests.