European startups will get a massive boost from a new generation of AI infrastructure, NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang said Friday in a fireside chat with iliad Group Deputy CEO Aude Durand — and it’s coming just in time.
“We’re now seeing a major second wave,” Huang said of the state of AI during a virtual appearance at Scaleway’s ai-PULSE conference in Paris for an audience of more than 1,000 in-person attendees.
Two elements are propelling this force, Huang explained in a conversation live-streamed from Station F, the world’s largest startup campus, which Huang joined via video conference from NVIDIA’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
First, “a recognition that every region and every country needs to build their sovereign AI,” Huang said. Second, the “adoption of AI in different industries,” as generative AI spreads throughout the world, Huang explained.
“So the types of breakthroughs that we’re seeing in language I fully expect to see in digital biology and manufacturing and robotics,” Huang said, noting this could create big opportunities for Europe with its rich digital biology and healthcare industries. “And of course, Europe is also home of some of the largest industrial manufacturing companies.”
Praise for France’s AI leadership
Durand kicked off the conversation by asking Huang about his views on the European AI ecosystem, especially in France, where the government has invested millions of euros in AI research and development.
“Europe has always been rich in AI expertise,” Huang said, noting that NVIDIA works with 4,000 startups in Europe, more than 400 of them in France alone, pointing to Mistral, Qubit Pharmaceuticals and Poolside AI.
“At the same time, you have to really get the computing infrastructure going,” Huang said. “And this is the reason why Scaleway is so important to the advancement of AI in France” and throughout Europe, Huang said.
Highlighting the critical role of data in AI’s regional growth, Huang noted companies’ increasing awareness of the value of training AI with region-specific data. AI systems need to reflect the unique cultural and industrial nuances of each region, an approach gaining traction across Europe and beyond.