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French shipping giant CMA CGM is investing in ventures outside its core container shipping business, following a record-breaking annual profit in the country’s history last year. Rodolphe Saadé, the chairman of CMA CGM, announced that the company is building a media division, an air cargo business and launching an artificial intelligence (AI) research initiative called Kyutai.

Kyutai is an AI open science lab founded by Eric Schmidt and Xavier Niel alongside Saadé’s iliad Group. The non-profit laboratory aims to tackle some of the main challenges of modern AI by developing large multimodal models and inventing new algorithms to enhance their capacities, reliability and efficiency. Kyutai will use Scaleway, a high-performance computing power made available by Niel’s tech empire in Europe.

The venture has received nearly EUR300m in investments so far and is committed to democratizing AI and sharing its advances with the entire AI ecosystem, from scientists to developers, companies and decision-makers in democracies. Saadé expressed his desire for the younger generation to benefit from the opportunities of AI through Kyutai, ensuring researchers have the resources they need to create and invent the world of tomorrow.

CMA CGM’s involvement in AI research stems from a desire to place France and Europe at the forefront of artificial intelligence research, creating a dynamic and innovative ecosystem that will keep businesses competitive. Saadé emphasized that joining forces is the best way to prepare for the future in the realm of AI.

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