Alphabet subsidiary, Google, has unveiled its latest AI research hub in Paris, a move that aligns with the city’s ambition to establish itself as a continental hub for emerging AI technologies in Europe.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, on Thursday (February 15), marked the official opening of the facility set to accommodate 300 scientists and engineers.

These professionals were previously spread across various Google offices in the Parisian region, as revealed by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai during the event.

The new hub aims to foster collaboration with startups, academic institutions, and companies, including those not utilising Google’s AI products.

As France strategically positions itself as a key player in the European AI landscape, recent developments underline the nation’s growing influence in the sector.

Mistral AI, a French competitor to OpenAI, achieved an impressive $2bn valuation just last December, less than a year after its formation.

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California-based Poolside AI also relocated its operations to Paris in the preceding year, having secured over $100m in seed capital.

The move by Google to consolidate its AI research units, combining DeepMind and Google Brain, reflects the tech giant’s intensified focus on AI.

This shift comes in response to advancements made by competitors such as Microsoft and OpenAI, which pose potential challenges to Google’s core internet search business.

Earlier in the day, Pichai engaged in discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron. Their talks encompassed preparations for an upcoming French AI summit later this year, according to statements from the Elysee.

The summit is expected to further solidify France’s position in the global AI landscape and explore avenues for continued collaboration in this transformative field.