Creation of the AI and Society Institute

Logos de la Fondation Abeona, l'École Normale Supérieure-PSL, et l'Université Paris Dauphine-PSL

Paris, December 6, 2023

Fondation Abeona, the École Normale Supérieure-PSL, and the University of Paris Dauphine-PSL announced on Tuesday, December 5, the creation of the lA and Society Institute.

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence has made spectacular advances, eliciting contrasting reactions, between fascination and anxiety. These developments, reflected in the general public’s discovery of the uses of ChatGPT and generative Al, offer a glimpse of profound economic and societal transformations.

At the end of October, the United States published an executive order designed to better regulate the development and use of Al. The UK hosted the first global Al summit last month, which highlighted “the urgent need to collectively understand and manage the potential risks of Al”. † Europe is in the process of finalizing a regulation project, the Al Act.

France has positioned itself as one of the leaders in Al research and innovation. This position engenders responsibility to also lead on responsible Al development. France must possess its own Al and Society institute in order to participate in the public debate at national, European and international levels, all while taking into account the risks and fears generated by Al.

Championing such institute will ensure and support responsible innovation.

The institute’s mission will be to “Research, Train, Inform and Influence” through: - Research on the societal and economic impacts of Al - Reflection on public policies and the geopolitics of Al - Engagement and participation in public debate - Awareness and training

Four main research areas on Al impact have been defined at this stage: 1. Al and social justice 2. Al and the future of work 3. Al robustness and security 4. Language, Images, and Disinformation in the Age of Generative Al.

The Institute will bring together players from the worlds of technology, business, civil society, and academia, to build a unique space for a better understanding of risks and opportunities in Al. The institute will forge partnerships with other organizations, academic, institutional business and other, in France and around the world, to promote the widest possible range of expertise.

In doing so, the new institute will foster research and dialogue on societal impacts of artificial intelligence, as a key member of the IA PR[AI]RIE - Paris School of Al Cluster ecosystem, led by PSL University (Paris Sciences et Lettres) of which ENS and Paris Dauphine University - PSL are component institutions.

A Steering Committee has been set up and will be joined by other personalities. It is co-chaired by Anne Bouverot (Chair of the Board Fondation Abeona and ENS) and Marc Mézard (Professor at Bocconi University) and brings together world-renowned experts in Al:

Jamal Atif - Professor, Vice-President of Paris Dauphine University - PSL
Laurent Daudet - Co - CEO and co-founder of LightOn
Carly Kind - Director of the Ada Lovelace Institute
Xavier Lazarus - Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Elaia
Yann Le Cun - Al Researcher, Turing Award 2018 Tanya Perelmuter - Co-Founder Fondation Abeona Gabriel Peyré - Director of the ENS Data Science Center Isabelle Ryl - Director, PRAIRIE / Paris School of Al
Martin Tisné - Director of Al Collaborative, Omidyar Group

The institute will be funded by both public and private funds.


Anne Bouverot, President of Fondation Abeona “It was important for France to be able to set up an independent institute, as exists in many other countries, and be at the forefront of a responsible approach to artificial intelligence, enabling public debate fostered by academic research, and open to public engagement.”

Frédéric Worms, Director of ENS: “The relationship between artificial intelligence and society requires a recognized frame of reference - to study, discuss and publicly promote their interaction. ENS is happy to support the Al and Society Institute with its interdisciplinary research, its students, and its public engagement.”

El Mouhoub Mouhoud, President of Paris Dauphine University - PSL: “The creation of the Al and Society Institute is in line with our strategy of developing multi-disciplinary research excellence and cutting-edge training, mobilizing dual skills from the Bachelor’s to the Doctorate level, and resolutely committed to the digital, social and environmental transformations underway. Creating this institute with our partners at ENS-PSL and Fondation Abeona also reinforces our vision of consolidating PSL University as a world-class player in Al research and a privileged place for science-society dialogue. I am delighted and proud that our university is fully committed to this wonderful adventure.”

Isabelle Ryl, Director of PRAIRIE: “ The rise of Al will profoundly alter the relationship between society and technology. The creation of the Al and Society Institute will contribute to public debate and understanding of the challenges of Al. This institute will be one of the jewels in the crown of the PRAIRIE Cluster, and will promulgate its reflections into training, research and innovation at the heart of Al and its interactions with other sciences.”

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