VivaTech 2024: Artificial intelligence takes centre stage at annual French tech show

VivaTech 2024: Artificial intelligence takes centre stage at annual French tech show

From bio-printed cells that replicate human skin to prosthetic hands that perfectly mimic our movements, artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere at this year's VivaTech conference in Paris.

The rainy weather didn't deter the thousands of startups and visitors who flocked to Europe’s largest trade fair for innovation and technology, which opened this Wednesday.

The number of European countries present at this year’s event will be 30 percent higher than in previous years.

More than 3,500 exhibitors from 120 countries have come together for four days of exchanges and so much more according to François Bitouzet, the director of VivaTech.

"At VivaTech, there are three major goals. The first is to discover and decipher all the latest trends in tech and digital," Bitouzet said.

"The second is to do business with start-ups, major corporations, governments and tech leaders. The third goal is to make connections. VivaTech is an international event, with 120 countries attending. And for us, it's extremely important to ensure that a Japanese start-up can meet an African investor," he told Euronews.

Japan: VivaTech's country of the year

This year, Japan takes centre stage as Vivatech’s country of the year. About 60 Japanese companies are exhibiting in a dedicated spot called the Japan Pavilion.

The city of Tokyo is showcasing SusHi Tech (Sustainable High City Tech Tokyo) – an innovative concept that seeks to develop technology and AI while simultaneously addressing environmental and urban issues.

Tokyo Vice Governor Manabu Miyasaka believes it's too early to determine the future course of action with AI in five or ten years, given its novelty as a technology.

"But I think we should start using AI as a public administration tool in Tokyo to understand it better and also see what the problems and advantages are. We have to understand the technology in order to use it in the best way in the future," he said in an interview with Euronews.

The greater aim is to create a more startup-friendly environment in Japan, especially in Tokyo, according to the vice governor.

This year, organisers expect to welcome more than 150,000 guests for this 8th edition of the conference.

The event runs until Saturday, 25 May (the only day open to the public).