Deploy an army of supercomputers that allow training, and therefore perfecting the latest models of artificial intelligence (AI), and this, in an open way. Here is the wish of the German professor of mathematics Christoph Schuhmann, who would like to bring Europe back into the hectic race for AI. For this, he created a non-profit organization, Laion (Large-scale Artificial Intelligence Open Network). She is working on the creation of tools like OpenFlamingo which, in the long term, could compete with GPT4, the language model developed by the American company OpenAI, at the origin of the chatbot ChatGPT.

Released on November 30, ChatGPT impresses as much as it disturbs. This software is indeed capable of composing a poem in a specific style, of offering cooking recipes based on what is in your fridge, and of generating business plans. If entrepreneurs use it to check the computer code of their software, the tool has been banned as a precaution in Italy, because it absorbed the private data of its users, or by Sciences Po, in particular because it encouraged plagiarism. .

To create a European conversational robot, the idea would be to develop a structure based on the model of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern), a laboratory which, by uniting the forces of Europe, relies on exceptional computing power to carry out extensive and often avant-garde research. Christoph Schuhmann wants to counterbalance the power that a handful of companies in the world are acquiring, Microsoft, which supports OpenAI, Google, Midjourney, Stability AI or the Chinese Baidu. “The idea is to avoid the significant concentration of power and data in the hands of companies that have almost exclusive access to these technologies”, explains Christoph Schuhmann.

industrial sovereignty. If this initiative (supported by several researchers such as the German Hilde Kuehne from the University of Frankfurt, or the Frenchman Thomas Wolf, technological director of the Hugging Face platform) succeeds, it could give new impetus to the BigScience project, which mobilizes more than 1,000 European researchers around alternative language models to GPT4. This is the case of Bloom (BigScience Large Open-science Open-access Multilingual Language Model), a model that is still embryonic.

Giving Europe the means to conduct research in artificial intelligence is an issue of industrial sovereignty: recent progress in this area makes it possible to model the folding of proteins, such as the creation of new materials. It is also an issue of representation of the world. Recently, David Holz, the American creator of Midjourney, a software that creates images, explained that if forced to do so, he would ban his users from generating images of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. This is not (yet) the case, as can be seen in the images above. But for how long ?

Reddit / Midjourney / JetBrainz – Reddit/DR – D.R – Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/ AFP – University of Montreal, Canada