On December 10, 2021, the China-France Webinar on Artificial Intelligence (AI), co-hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, supported by the Chinese Embassy in France and the French Embassy in China, and organized by the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China, was successfully held online and offline. Zhang Guangjun, Vice Minister of Science and Technology of China, Yu Jinsong, Chargé d‘affaires of the Chinese Embassy in France, Laurent Bili, French Ambassador to China, and Joaquim Nassar, Head of the Department of Strategy, Expertise and Management of International Cooperation Programmes under the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, attended the conference and delivered speeches. The meeting was moderated by Zhao Jing, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and Marc Daumas, Counsellor for Higher Education, Research and Innovation of the French Embassy in China.
In his opening speech, Vice Minister Zhang Guangjun said that since 2020, the presidents of the two countries have spoken on the phone seven times and reached consensus on expanding AI cooperation and unleashing the potential of cooperation in digital technology, scientific and technological innovation and other fields, charting the course for cooperation in the next stage. During the meetings of science and technology ministers, the two countries agreed to deepen scientific and technological innovation cooperation in agriculture, AI and other fields. Given their comparative strengths in AI, China and France should share resources to the fullest extent possible, complement each other’s advantages, build a long-term cooperation platform, actively expand joint research on AI, jointly tackle global challenges and provide scientific and technological support for the economic and social development of both countries.
Ambassador Laurent Bili said that France attaches great importance to the development of AI. France and China are two indispensable powers in the AI field. France is willing to work with China to promote global AI development, contribute AI solutions to global challenges and public policies, and bring the two countries onto the path toward a zero-carbon society.
During the exchange session, representatives from the two sides had an in-depth discussion on key areas of cooperation, such as AI based on mathematics and information science, AI ethics and governance, and AI supporting sustainable development and carbon neutrality, and exchanged views on other research areas of mutual interest.
More than 40 representatives from the science & technology and diplomatic departments and embassies of the two countries, Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI), the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beihang University, Tencent Research Institute, French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE), Sorbonne University, French National Institute for Information and Automation and other government departments, universities, research institutions and enterprises attended the meeting.
Zhao Zhiyun, Director-General of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China and the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Research Center, Zhang Xu, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Strategy and Planning of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and Mickaël Hautchamp, Minister Counsellor for Cultural, Educational and Scientific Affairs of the French Embassy in China, attended the Webinar upon invitation.