French shipping company CMA CGM’s chairman, Rodolphe Saadé, is investing in ventures outside of the company’s core container shipping segment following record-breaking annual profits last year. Among these investments is a new media division, an air cargo business, and a foray into artificial intelligence.
Saadé, alongside former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and internet entrepreneur Xavier Niel, have jointly founded Kyutai, an AI open science lab. The non-profit laboratory aims to tackle the challenges of modern AI by developing large multimodal models and inventing new algorithms to improve their performance. The lab will use Scaleway, part of Niel’s tech empire, which boasts the highest-performance computing power for AI applications in Europe.
Kyutai has received nearly EUR300m in investments from various sources including Niel’s iliad Group, CMA CGM and Schmidt Futures. The venture is committed to democratizing AI research and sharing its advances with the entire AI ecosystem. Saadé expressed his desire to provide opportunities for young researchers through Kyutai while ensuring they have access to the resources needed to create and shape the world of tomorrow.
The involvement of CMA CGM in AI research stems from a desire to position France at the forefront of artificial intelligence research and create a dynamic and innovative ecosystem that would benefit businesses across Europe. Saadé emphasized that collaborative efforts are key to preparing for the future in the realm of AI.