Google, Facebook Target Paris as a Center for AI Expansion

Paris is gaining ground as a European hub for artificial intelligence research as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. pledge to hire staff and invest in labs after their top executives met with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Google said it will create an AI lab dedicated to fundamental research on themes like automatic learning, language and a computer’s ability to see, with the aim of applying findings to fields from health to the environment. The end-goal is to grow this group to a size similar to Google’s existing team of 120 engineers who do applied research in Paris, working on developments for Chrome and YouTube, a company spokeswoman said.

Facebook, which already has an artificial intelligence lab in Paris, said it will double the team there to 100 people by 2022 and spend 10 million euros ($12.2 million) on items including hardware equipment. Both announcements came as part of a broader series of promises by these companies to increase budgets in France, with Google and Facebook also separately vowing to train citizens on digital tools.

“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,” Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post. He reaffirmed a broader hiring target to reach 1,000 employees at Google’s headquarters in the French capital, from 700 today.

Pichai and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are guests of Macron’s on Monday, among 140 top executives from a variety of industries. In Versailles, company chiefs were invited to attend presentations by ministers, as well as private meetings and dinner with the president -- a full-fledged investor roadshow meant to convince CEOs to invest more in France, as they prepare to head to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

SAP SE CEO Bill McDermott is also on the guest list. Europe’s biggest software company said it will invest 2 billion euros over five years in France on research and development, as well as backing and acquiring startups.

SAP also announced Monday it’s buying a French company called Recast.AI that specializes in artificial intelligence. Recast.AI, which develops conversational chatbots, will be part of SAP’s efforts to add voice recognition to its products.

Macron’s strategy to woo investors and bring more funds to the French ecosystem dates back before his days as president, and tech has always been at the core of it. When he was still economy minister two years ago, Macron used the grandeur of Versailles to try and convince technology-focused venture-capitalists, including Andreessen Horowitz and Accel Partners, that France is a good place for their money.

The French president has also expressed the goal of establishing France and Europe as leaders in global artificial intelligence innovation, to rival the U.S. and China. France is waiting for a report by a member of Parliament, Cedric Villani, expected soon before it unveils a national strategy on AI.

Still, Macron has toughened his stance on technology companies in recent months on issues like taxes. He brought it up with Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook during a meeting at the French presidential palace in September.

Taxation of tech companies will be part of talks in Versailles Monday, but they’re not the reason for Macron’s meetings with Pichai, Sandberg and others, according to an official at the president’s office.

The dinner will be held at the Gallery of Great Battles in the Versailles Palace, where Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. Catering will include meals imagined by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse.

Siemens to add 1000 Employees for Airport Logistics workforce in Dubai

Siemens is planning to double its airport logistics workforce in Dubai over the next five years, company CEO Joe Kaser told.German industrial giant said Expo 2020 Dubai has the potential to transform logistics in the region

Europe’s largest industrial manufacturer said it will likely double its airport logistics workforce in Dubai over the next five years as the UAE’s airports and ports begin reaping the benefits of a new industrial revolution.“We already have 1,000 people in airport logistics in Dubai and we will look to double our forces by 2022,” said Joe Kaser, CEO of Siemens.

The German company, a major global partner in Expo 2020 Dubai, announced last year that it would set up a new airport and logistics headquarters in Dubai.Due to be completed in 2022, the hub is in addition to the company’s plans to repurpose District 2020 into a mixed-use development as part of the Expo’s legacy strategy.

“Dubai has the highest quality of airports anywhere in the world. Aviation is a big part of the economy in the city and the country with Emirates, and nearby Etihad and others. So a huge amount of innovation in the industry happens here,” said Kaser.

"Then there are big ports and logistics ecosystems. So the Expo 2020 in Dubai is just an occasion, we’re quite optimistic about having our global airport logistics headquarters here."
A large portion of the new workforce will be trained in critical skills essential to the logistics industry as well as the open architecture Internet of Things (IoT) platform Siemens has created called Mindsphere.

“Mindsphere is a software for the Expo,” said Kaser, “and logistics will be one of the single most attractive growth areas for IoT because the technology makes people and goods move faster, more frequently in smaller quantities.”

Siemens will hire and redeploy staff to man its new hub in Dubai as needed, said Kaiser.

“We employ 386,000 people globally and spend over $600 million every year in next-generation training. People who are trained and are employable have options, and people who have options aren’t scared about the future. That’s the way we look at it, and we’re going to demonstrate that at Expo 2020.”

Amazon is adding 2,000 Jobs in France

US online shopping giant Amazon said Thursday it plans to create 2,000 permanent full-time jobs in France this year as consumers are making more and more of their purchases via the internet. 

"The jobs are at all levels of skills even if the overwhelming majority of the positions are for fulfilling orders," Amazon's director in France Frederic Duval told.

The new jobs will be across Amazon's distribution centres in France, as well as its offices in the Paris region, and take overall staff to 7,500.

Amazon said it has invested more than two billion euros ($2.5 billion) in France since 2010 and created more than 1,500 jobs in France last year.

However, Amazon, along with other US tech companies, has also been at loggerheads with French authorities over taxes as they structure sales to pass through other European countries where tax rates are lower.

Amazon announced earlier this month it had reached an agreement with French tax authorities under which it will now register French sales in France.

LinkedIn Launches 'Scheduler' to ease hiring process


Professional social network site LinkedIn launched a new tool called "Scheduler" that will help ease the hiring process both for recruiters and candidates as well as avoid fallouts.
"LinkedIn Scheduler" automates initial interview scheduling for recruiters and candidates, directly via InMail.

The new tool would help candidates and recruiters save time spent on scheduling a meeting and help recruiters focus their energies on hiring strategically and onboarding the best candidate, the Microsoft-owned company said in a statement.

Using this feature, candidates or recruiters can reach each other via InMail to see one's calendar availability and reserve an interview time that works best for both.It also gives candidates the liberty to feed in their contact information to accelerate this process.

"Our goal is to help you spend less time on the back-and-forth-and a lot more time delighting, advising, and helping candidates make the decision to join your company," said Peter Rigano, Senior Product Manager at LinkedIn.

"LinkedIn 'Scheduler' is just the latest way that we're working to make recruiters more productive, powerful, and personal," Rigano added.To use the feature, recruiters first need to automatically provide availability via InMail by syncing "Scheduler" to Office 365 or Google calendar.This would automatically set the availability for potential interview times.Then, using a new "InMail" message, recruiters can easily send a scheduling link directly to the candidate of interest.

The link shares a real-time view of the recruiter's calendar availability with candidates who can then choose what time works best for them, add their phone number and confirm the meeting.Further, advance settings allow recruiters to manage preferences such as time zones, availability, length of meetings and same-day meetings.

LinkedIn has brightened Microsoft’s growth prospects ever since the latter completed its acquisition in 2016. Since then, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, who joined Microsoft’s senior leadership team as part of the $26.2 billion acquisition has been exploring analytics, AI, bots and other latest technologies to come up with strategies for talent acquisition leader, HR managers and headhunters, changing the recruiting scenario across the world.

Professional social network site LinkedIn launched a new tool called "Scheduler" that will help ease the hiring process both for recruiters and candidates as well as avoid fallouts.
"LinkedIn Scheduler" automates initial interview scheduling for recruiters and candidates, directly via InMail.

The new tool would help candidates and recruiters save time spent on scheduling a meeting and help recruiters focus their energies on hiring strategically and onboarding the best candidate, the Microsoft-owned company said in a statement.

Using this feature, candidates or recruiters can reach each other via InMail to see one's calendar availability and reserve an interview time that works best for both.It also gives candidates the liberty to feed in their contact information to accelerate this process.

"Our goal is to help you spend less time on the back-and-forth-and a lot more time delighting, advising, and helping candidates make the decision to join your company," said Peter Rigano, Senior Product Manager at LinkedIn.

"LinkedIn 'Scheduler' is just the latest way that we're working to make recruiters more productive, powerful, and personal," Rigano added.To use the feature, recruiters first need to automatically provide availability via InMail by syncing "Scheduler" to Office 365 or Google calendar.This would automatically set the availability for potential interview times.Then, using a new "InMail" message, recruiters can easily send a scheduling link directly to the candidate of interest.

The link shares a real-time view of the recruiter's calendar availability with candidates who can then choose what time works best for them, add their phone number and confirm the meeting.Further, advance settings allow recruiters to manage preferences such as time zones, availability, length of meetings and same-day meetings.

Google, Facebook Target Paris as a Center for AI Expansion

Paris is gaining ground as a European hub for artificial intelligence research as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. pledge ...