Last year, Google announced a $1 billion initiative to teach the skills needed for new digital jobs in light of automation. Grow with Google is now expanding to France, with the company also launching a new AI research team and bigger offices.

Google wants to make France more of a technological powerhouse, given an abundance of assets suited for that environment:

According to the European Commission, France ranks just 16th in the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index. Yet France has all the assets to succeed. It has top engineers, great entrepreneurs, one of the best education systems in the world, great infrastructure, and successful global companies. Studies suggest that if France fully seized its digital potential, it could earn up to 10 percent of GDP from digital technology by 2025, creating 200-250 billion euros’ worth of additional value per year.

To do so, the company is launching “Grow with Google in France” with “Les Ateliers Numériques Google.” These Google Digital Workshops will be hosted at four local Google Hubs around the country. Run by local partners, the space will provide free training in online skills and digital literacy.

The first space is opening in the Brittany region, with a Google Hub opening in Rennes during first half of 2018. The three other hubs and cities will follow.

Meanwhile, Google is opening a new research center dedicated to artificial intelligence. The new research team will “work closely with the AI research community in France on issues like health, science, art and the environment.”

They will publish their research and open-source the code they produce, so that everyone can use these insights to solve their own problems, in their own way.

Meanwhile, the company is also doubling its headcount in France to 1,000 employees. As a result, Google is expanding its French office by 6,000 square meters.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: