AI Takes Center Stage at Paris VivaTech Event

AI Takes Center Stage at Paris VivaTech Event
AI Takes Center Stage at Paris VivaTech Event

Thousands of tech enthusiasts filed into Europe's self-declared biggest startup event VivaTech in Paris, with artificial intelligence stealing the show this year.

Over four days, the event, now in its eighth year, will host more than 150,000 guests, 11,000 startups and 450 speakers, according to the organizers.

Former US climate envoy and secretary of state John Kerry is expected to make a push for a green tech revolution, and billionaire Tesla, SpaceX and X owner Elon Musk will appear via video link to answer audience questions.

"AI will be at the core of everything that you will see," said VivaTech founder Maurice Levy in his opening address.

On the same stage, France's minister for digital affairs Marina Ferrari urged the public: "Don't be afraid" of AI.

Alongside dire warnings from critics that sentient AI could take over the world, the technology uses vast energy resources.

Firms like OpenAI, which use publicly available information for their programs, are widely accused of copyright and privacy breaches -- most recently apologizing to actor Scarlett Johansson after appearing to use her voice for their chatbot.

As guests squashed into the Paris conference center, a slew of startups began giving presentations and making pitches for funding.

On "AI alley", firms from France to South Korea demonstrated how AI can be deployed for anything from controlling devices in the home hand movements, to fighting against disinformation.

Established players like ChatGPT maker OpenAI, Anthropic and Mistral will take to the main stages to outline their latest innovations.

The event regularly attracts major political figures, with EU heavyweights Thierry Breton and Charles Michel expected to attend.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron, a regular attendee, is unlikely to take part this year.