The American giant Meta (parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and Simplon, a French training center specializing in digital technology, announced on Sunday February 11 a partnership to offer the general public an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI), hoping reach 30,000 people.

The two entities are thus launching the “AI Initiation Workshops”, a unique initiative, free and open to all, without prerequisites, which aims to “raise awareness among the French about the first notions and getting to grips with artificial intelligence generative", they said in a press release.

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“We want to make the French aware of this technological breakthrough,” said Laurent Solly, vice-president of Meta for the Southern Europe region, to AFP.

The company partly finances this training, without specifying the amount.

These half-day workshops, which should start from March, will be delivered online in real time, to allow interaction with students, and in eight French cities: Marseille, Lyon, Paris, Lille, Nantes, Rennes , Montpellier and Bordeaux.

They will be focused around three points: a theoretical explanation of generative AI and existing tools, an introduction to the different models, and awareness of the limits and biases induced by this technology. “We are convinced that we cannot use AI if we do not understand what it is and how it works,” insists Frédéric Bardeau, president of Simplon.

Read alsoArtificial intelligence: France in the starting blocks

A “world first” for Meta

For the awareness part of the impacts and limits of AI, the two companies will rely on a third partner, the Impact AI association which campaigns for “responsible” AI.

Meta and Simplon specify that the AI ​​used in the workshops will be diversified, and will not be limited to the models designed by the American company.

At the head of this training center for digital professions created in 2013, Frédéric Bardeau intends to rely on the network developed by Simplon to attract students: "We will continue to work with France Travail, but also with chambers of commerce and industry (CCI) regional and associations", he specifies.

Laurent Solly claims with this initiative a “world first” for Meta, which could serve as a test before deploying the principle in other countries.

Meta and Simplon have already collaborated by launching a “metaverse academy” in 2022 and have also formed a partnership that allows students to be apprentices within the company.

With AFP

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