Mounir Mahjoubi says one of France's biggest challenges is convincing citizens that innovation is 'an answer to all challenges'

Mounir Mahjoubi says one of France's biggest challenges is convincing citizens that innovation is 'an answer to all challenges'

The Hello Tomorrow conference dedicated to innovation in deeptech opened this Thursday, March 14, 2019 at the Centquatre, in the XIX arrondissement of Paris. We call “deeptech” the tech sector where new solutions, based on breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, virtual and augmented reality, nanotechnology etc., are imagined and developed. At the opening of this international summit where 500 entrepreneurs are expected, Mounir Mahjoubi, Secretary of State in charge of digital, gave an inaugural speech in which he affirmed what was in his opinion one of the greatest challenges of France in terms of innovation.

In the language of Shakespeare, the Secretary of State for digital affairs said that he and the French government are convinced that “technologies are the answer to all the challenges” that society faces today. But “one of France’s biggest challenges is to convince citizens who doubt this,” to convince them that innovation can help them have a better future. “This is our responsibility to all,” he added.

“Some people don’t believe that tech is a solution. They are not necessarily opposed to it, they are afraid. We [ndlr: gouvernement, entrepreneurs, scientifiques etc] must be more transparent, show the world what we are doing,” said Mounir Mahjoubi.

The latter thus considered that “the first most understandable topic for citizens” to help them understand how deeptech can improve their daily lives is to talk about the impact of AI in the health field: “explaining how AI can make it possible to design a more targeted treatment for cancer for example”, instead of constantly talking about “job losses related to AI, smart military weapons”, which arouse fear. According to Mounir Mahjoubi, it is necessary to talk about concrete things that speak to people by asking themselves “am I able to explain it to my mother, to my grandmother, to my daughter?”

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