iLiad Group, a leading player in French telecoms, has announced its intent to pivot to artificial intelligence (AI), splurging over $106 million in its quest.
In an official statement, iLiad Group said it had completed the purchase of an NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD, an AI supercomputer to power its AI ambitions. Per the statement, the supercomputer installed in Parios will provide users with the computing power required to train large language models (LLMs) “up to four times faster.”
Scaleway, iLiad’s subsidiary, will spearhead the efforts into AI and unveil a suite of cloud-native AI offerings. The company has partnered with NVIDIA to offer clients “pre-trained” AI models and tools to streamline their developmental efforts.
“Through our collaboration with NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), we will enable European companies to significantly accelerate their AI innovations and to compete with international players,” said Scaleway CEO Damien Lucas. “Our aim is to become the leading partner in Europe for all AI companies.”
To reach its objectives, the company disclosed via the statement that it has laid the foundation of a new AI research lab in Paris. A team of accomplished AI researchers will run the multi-million dollar lab. It will assist the entire AI ecosystem to leverage the advances from optimizing AI models.
The lab will serve as a training hub for a new generation of AI researchers, particularly doctoral students in France, with the Group pledging to make all its research public.
Scaleway disclosed that it will be hosting Europe’s leading AI conference in November, playing host to leading industry players. In its inaugural edition, the company confirmed that it will showcase the most recent advances in AI and draw attendance from institutional players, academia, and policymakers.
Iliad Group’s Chairman Xavier Niel noted that the recent push in AI is hinged on the firm’s desire to be at the forefront of innovation, noting that the company rode the wave of internet innovation.
“Wanting to become an AI champion may seem a slightly crazy gamble,” said Niel. “Then again, 25 years ago, it was a crazy gamble too, wanting to make the internet accessible to everyone. But that certainly didn’t stop us.”
Europe’s stiff AI rules
iLiad Group added that its investment in AI is designed to protect the privacy rights of users in Europe, alluding to compliance with existing regulations.
The European Union‘s (EU) proposed AI rules have drawn the ire of tech executives and AI developers over the stringent nature of its proposals. Concerned industry players say that the rules threaten the future of innovation in space and could trigger talent and capital flights from the region.
Already, EU regulators are probing OpenAI over its data collection policies. At the same time, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) received the short end of the stick from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) following a failure to make necessary disclosures to the regulator.
The EU’s no-nonsense approach to emerging technologies has seen its roll out the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation to regulate virtual currency service providers.
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