- As digital giants race for artificial intelligence, European players are also emerging
- Mistral AI raised $105 million in June
- And Germany-based Aleph Alpha already has a great language model used by businesses and governments.
Less than a year ago, the American startup OpenAI rocked the world with the launch of its artificial intelligence ChatGPT. And today digital giants such as Google, Microsoft and Meta (Facebook) are engaged in a real race on artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, alternatives to these American products are gradually developing in Europe. Two startups are particularly attracting media attention: Mistral AI, based in France, and Aleph Alpha, based in Germany.
Will these two companies be able to compete with the American artificial intelligence giants? This is not certain today. But in any case today they would be the two most promising European companies in the sector. In June, Mistral AI made a lot of noise, after announcing a $105 million fundraising from prestigious investors, including Lightspeed Venture, Xavier Niel, Rodolphe Saadé, Bpifrance and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
For its part, Aleph Alpha has already raised $27 million in 2021 and could announce a new round this year. In addition, Aleph Alpha’s LLM or large language model is already used by 10,000 corporate and government customers, according to a Wired article. This artificial intelligence would be used, for example, to generate financial reports, summarize documents or create chatbots. “I think a good rule of thumb is that whatever a trainee can be taught, our technology can do it,” comments Jonas Andrulis, CEO of the startup, quoted from the Wired article.
AI made in Europe
Basically, as Aleph Alpha demonstrates, despite the presence of American players, there is room for AI made in Europe. And the existence of these actors is beneficial to the continent. These, in fact, make it possible to exploit generative AI, without the need to transfer data abroad. European AI players can also ensure that European languages are not overlooked. For example, Aleph Alpha’s AI already supports German, French, Spanish and Italian, in addition to English.
But besides that, Aleph Alpha also offers another vision in terms of AI design, which can have an influence on the market. Indeed, his LLM has a particularity: when it generates content, it allows the user to know how each word was chosen. Wired explains that during a demonstration, Jonas Andrulis showed that he could click on a word, so that the AI indicates from which document the choice of that word was made.