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France offers to welcome Sam Altman after his ouster by OpenAI

Tech star Sam Altman was dismissed from his position as boss of OpenAI this Friday, November 17. The French government says it is ready to welcome him and “his team and their talents”.

Sam Altman, dismissed from his position as boss of OpenAI, at the origin of the generative artificial intelligence (AI) platform ChatGPT, was invited to France by the Minister Delegate for Digital Affairs Jean-Noël Barrot.

“Sam Altman, his team and their talents are welcome if they wish in France where we are accelerating to put artificial intelligence at the service of the common good,” wrote the minister on the X network (formerly Twitter).

Create “national champions”

This invitation comes the day after an important announcement concerning the development of AI in France: two big bosses Xavier Niel (Iliad) and Rodolphe Saadé (CMA CGM) announced on Friday the creation in Paris of a laboratory called “Kyutai” and endowed with 300 million euros.

In the race for AI, France wants to create “national champions”, according to the expression of Jean-Noël Barrot. The boss was also received last May by Emmanuel Macron and Bruno Le Maire to discuss the question of the regulatory framework around these technologies.

Star of Silicon Valley, Sam Altman, 38, was to everyone’s surprise fired on Friday with immediate effect from the position of boss of OpenAI, the board of directors accusing him of not having always been “frank”.

“I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me on a personal level but also, hopefully, for the world,” he reacted on X.

Since the first version of ChatGPT went online on November 30, 2022, millions of people have used it to write messages, ask for a cooking recipe or invent a story to tell their children – which the conversational robot can then read to them.

Despite their success, ChatGPT and other interfaces of this type also raise serious concerns about the dangers for democracy (massive disinformation) or employment (replaced professions).

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