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FRANCE-POLITICS-INDUSTRYFrance’s Emmanuel Macron knows his country is not about to develop a local equivalent of Google or Facebook to power the development of artificial intelligence.

But in a new national AI strategy, the French president is touting other assets to power up innovation: its foreign brain trust, huge troves of state-owned data and links to European research institutes to share and leverage knowledge.

“We have to be in a position to build, in France and in Europe, an artificial intelligence ecosystem,” Macron said in a speech Thursday. “We should have a policy of open data,” he added, and “have to think on the subject from a political and ethical point of view … to come up with a common understanding and rules.”

With an investment of nearly €1.5 billion euros into AI research over the next four years, Macron aims to do nothing less than to drag his country into the age of AI and erase 30 years of underperformance on innovation.

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