Vivatech 2024

Event recap — AI takes over Paris at VivaTech

Europe's biggest start-up and tech conference, Viva Technology Paris kicked off yesterday!

Held at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in Paris, Viva Technology 2024 will host more than 150,000 guests, 11,000 startups, 2,500 exhibitors, and 450 speakers over four days; last year, its scale surpassed even the annual Las Vegas trade show, CES.

"VivaTech accelerates innovation by connecting startups, tech leaders, major companies and investors responding to our world’s biggest challenges. Each year, over four exciting days in Paris, VivaTech creates Europe’s biggest technology and startup event, exploring the most disruptive topics in tech with world-premiere demos, launches and conferences in a collaborative ecosystem. This is where business meets innovation," the organisers say.

The well-known event normally takes place in June; this year, it was moved to accommodate preparations for the Paris Olympic Games, Paris 2024.

Event recap: What's happened thus far at VivaTech?

1. An AI 'tsunami'

In the words of VivaTech Founder, Maurice Lévy, “There isn’t a key AI company that won’t be represented at VivaTech,” and this year has been no exception!

AI start-ups flooded the event, giving presentations and making pitches for funding, looking for employees, partners, and potential investors.

With 37% of the show’s partners using Artificial Intelligence, AI is set to be the flagship technology of this year’s event for the second year running. While some warn about 'AI fatigue,' the overwhelming spirit of the event is to embrace the possibilities created by this technology: "Don't be afraid of AI...We are living a real revolution, which could be compared to printing or electrification," stated Marina Ferrari, France's Minister of State for Digital Affairs.

2. OpenAI rendez-vous in the heart of Paris

ChatGPT met with Paris AI developers and start-ups over wine and lunch in the popular cultural centre La Gaîté Lyrique during OpenAI à Paris, the first event of this kind that OpenAI has organised in Europe outside of London and Dublin.

According to Sifted, the French capital has started to make a serious mark in the field of AI, most notably thanks to Mistral, a Paris-based ChatGPT challenger, and three of France’s hottest AI startups, Nabla, Photoroom, and Dust.

The quality of French innovation in Artificial Intelligence is such that OpenAI is thinking about opening a third European HQ in the French capital; the first two are London and Dublin.

3. AI meets Green Tech

According to Forbes, “Awareness of climate and sustainability issues is higher [in France] than in many countries” and “Many global firms have opened their AI and R&D centers in France over the past few years [with some,] like Ekimetrics, well-positioned at the intersection of AI and environmental issues.” 

Earlier this week, “President Macron announced a €400M incremental budget for AI training and aims to have 100,000 AI experts by 2030…The start-up ecosystem is full of innovative green tech players.”

Former United States Secretary of State under Barack Obama, Democrat John Kerry, addressed this issue during yesterday's talk.

Other speakers at this year's VivaTech include Elon Musk, Serena & Venus Williams, Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of e-commerce giant Rakuten, Baidu Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Robin Li; Arthur Mensch, Co-founder and CEO of Mistral AI; Clara Shih, CEO of Salesforce AI, X CEO Linda Yaccarino, and Former Google Chairman & CEO, Eric Schmidt, and his wife, Wendy.

See the VivaTech LinkedIn feed.

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