Rodolphe Saadé, the chairman of CMA CGM, has been making headlines for his investments outside the company’s core container shipping segment. In recent years, CMA CGM has built up a media division and an air cargo business, among other ventures. But the latest addition to their portfolio is a foray into artificial intelligence (AI).
On Friday, Saadé unveiled Kyutai, an AI open science lab that he founded jointly with Xavier Niel’s iliad Group and Eric Schmidt’s Schmidt Futures. The laboratory is dedicated entirely to open research in AI and aims to tackle some of the biggest challenges in the field.
Kyutai’s goal is to develop large multimodal models that use text, sound, and images, as well as invent new algorithms to improve their performance. To do this, the laboratory will use Scaleway, part of Niel’s tech empire and home to Europe’s highest-performance supercomputer for AI applications.
CMA CGM has invested heavily in Kyutai and has joined forces with some of France’s most successful entrepreneurs to create this new venture. With nearly €300 million in investments so far, Kyutai represents a major commitment by the French business community to democratize AI research and make it accessible to everyone.
Saadé said that he was committed to ensuring that Kyutai would be a leading player in AI open science and would share its advances with the entire AI ecosystem. He hoped that it would bring together top experts from around the world to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing AI today. By doing so, he believed that France could become a global hub for AI research and innovation.