was speaking after announcing a €1.5bn (£1.32bn) investment in
artificial intelligence research to accelerate innovation and catch
up with China and the US.
Macron said companies such as Google and Facebook were welcome in
France, brought jobs and were “part of our ecosystem”.
he warned: “They have a very classical issue in a monopoly
situation; they are huge players. At a point of time – but I think
it will be a US problem, not a European problem – at a point of
time, your government, your people, may say, ‘Wake up. They are too
just too big to fail, but too big to be governed. Which is brand
at this point, you may choose to dismantle. That’s what happened at
the very beginning of the oil sector when you had these big giants.
That’s a competition issue.”
question isn't ‘Should there be regulation or shouldn’t there be?’ –
it’s ‘How do you do it?’” Mr Zuckerberg said.
the start of this year, billionaire investor and philanthropistGeorge
Soros added his voiceto a chorus
calling for major technology firms to be reined in,
calling Google and Facebook monopolies in need of
Macron also hinted in the interview that the online giants might be
forced to put more money towards compensation for disrupting
traditional economic sectors.
have to retrain our people,” he said. “These companies will not pay
for that – the government will.
the GAFA [Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon] don’t pay
all the taxes they should in Europe. So they don’t contribute
to dealing with negative externalities they create. And they ask the
sectors they disrupt to pay, because these guys, the old sectors pay
VAT, corporate taxes and so on. That’s not sustainable.”
said people should remain sovereign on privacy rules.
want to protect privacy in this way or in that way. You don’t have
the same rule in the US. And speaking about US players, how can I
guarantee French people that US players will respect our regulation?
So at a point of time, they will have to create actual legal bodies
and incorporate it in Europe, being submitted to these rules.”
and democracy happen at national or regional level but not at a
global scale, he added. “If I don’t walk down this path, I cannot
protect French citizens and guarantee their rights. If I don’t do
that, I cannot guarantee French companies they are fairly treated.
Because today, when I speak about GAFA, they are very much welcome –
I want them to be part of my ecosystem, but they don’t play on the
same level playing field as the other players in the digital or
added: “All I know is that if I don’t, at a point of time, have this
discussion and regulate them, I put myself in a situation not to be
sovereign any more.”
president envisaged a European sovereignty in AI. “Artificial
intelligence is a global innovation scheme in which you have private
big players and one government with a lot of data – China.
My goal is to recreate a European sovereignty in AI, especially on
regulation. You will have sovereignty battles to regulate, with
countries trying to defend their collective choices,” he said.
will raise a lot of issues in ethics, in politics, it will question
our democracy and our collective preferences. For instance, if you
take healthcare, you can totally transform medical care, making it
much more predictive and personalised if you get access to a lot of
data. We will open our data in France.
the day you start dealing with privacy
issues, the day you open this data and unveil personal
information, you open a Pandora’s box, with potential use cases that
will not be increasing the common good and improving the way to
Macron announced the new investment at the Artificial Intelligence
for Humanity event in Paris last week (Reuters)
particular, it’s creating a potential for all the players to select
you. This can be a very profitable business model: this data can be
used to better treat people, it can be used to monitor patients, but
it can also be sold to an insurer that will have intelligence on you
and your medical risks, and could get a lot of money out of this
information. The day we start to make such business out of this data
is when a huge opportunity becomes a huge risk. It could totally
dismantle our national cohesion and the way we live together.
leads me to the conclusion that this huge technological revolution
is in fact a political revolution.”
Zuckerberg, while accepting a need for regulation, warned last month
against governments micromanaging tech companies, and how they
handle privacy breaches, hate speech and offensive content.
new Network Enforcement Act, under which technology companies
must immediately investigate hate speech complaints, delete hateful
content within 24 hours or face fines of up to €50m.