The 3AI plan
The Prairie Institute (PaRis AI Research InstitutE) is one of the four French Institutes of Artificial Intelligence, which were created as part of the national French initiative on AI announced by President Emmanuel Macron on May 29, 2018.
A major part of this ambitious plan, which has a total budget of one billion euros, was the creation of a small number of interdisciplinary AI research institutes (or “3IAs” for “Instituts Interdisciplinaires d’Intelligence Artificielle”). After an open call for participation in July 2018 and two rounds of review by an international scientific committee, the Grenoble, Nice, Paris and Toulouse projects have officially received the 3IA label on April 24, 2019, with a total budget of 75 million Euros.
Prairie is the Paris 3IA. It brings together:
Prairie’s objective is to become within five years a world leader in AI research and higher education, with an undeniable impact on economy and technology at the French, European and global levels. With academic members that excel at research and education in both the core methodological areas and the interdisciplinary aspects of AI, industrial members that are major actors in AI at the global level and a very strong group of international partners, we believe that this ambition is a realistic one.
Our strategy is based on:
- Excellence in research and education
- To train, attract and retain top talent.
- To bring together academic, industrial, and international partners.
- A virtuous circle
- Core and interdisciplinary fundamental AI research.
- Collaborative research with industry and applications.
Prairie will pursue fundamental research in core areas of AI as well as interdisciplinary work at its interface with sciences and applications. Our core methodological research will address some of the key issues, e.g. scale, reliability, and explicability, that stand in the way of widespread deployment of AI technology in everyday life. Our research will tackle scientific challenges such as large-scale nonconvex optimization, domain adaptation and personalization, or the ability to handle sparse and/or noisy annotations.
Scientific advances in these areas have a tremendous potential for socio-economic impact, from autonomous vehicles to virtual assistants. Our interdisciplinary research will tackle crucial problems in cellular and molecular biology, cognitive science and medicine, using a unique combination of large-scale datasets, novel machine learning approaches and expert scientific knowledge. This will include selecting the pertinent information in high-throughput genomic and imaging data, developing computer-aided clinical decision/diagnosis systems, and modeling human cognition. This will result in both radical advances in our understanding of living organisms and high-impact applications in drug discovery and personalized medicine for example.
This fundamental work will be complemented by collaborative research with our industrial partners, that are committed to support open research for the advancement of AI science. They will also offer new challenges and sources of data, excellent opportunities for transfer and innovation in areas such as transportation and the environment, and a first-hand chance to confront the ethical, legal, and regulatory issues omnipresent in most applications of AI technology.
Finally, we have established a network of international partnerships with world-renowned institutions to facilitate the exchange of faculty members, students and ideas necessary for true scientific impact at the global level.
France and Europe need a new crop of AI and data engineers and scientists, and the objective of Prairie is to become a clear leader in AI higher education, from lifelong training for professionals to masters and doctoral programs. Our ambitions are to scale up significantly the higher education offer in AI in Paris:
- for future researchers, with a new multidisciplinary graduate school in AI,
- for professionals, with a radically new master’s degree program for lifelong learning that will be offered in both part-time and traditional formats,
- for students in all disciplines, with crash courses offering content in interdisciplinary AI studies adapted to the corresponding scientific fields.
Important ethical and legal issues will be addressed throughout all programs offered.
Prairie’s dual mission of world-class research and education in collaboration with industry leaders will have a multiplying effect on the scientific and socio-economic impact of AI in France and Europe. In this context, we will also:
- promote close collaborations and exchanges between the public and private sectors,
- provide access to the scientific and technological advances achieved in Prairie to the SMEs and start-ups in the Prairie ecosystem,
- play an active role the creation and growth of start-ups.