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Despite Microsoft’s AI Deal With Mistral, The French Were Unaware Of It

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Despite Microsoft's AI Deal With Mistral, The French Were Unaware Of It

(CTN News) – According to Reuters, the French finance ministry had no prior knowledge of Microsoft’s partnership with Mistral AI, denying suggestions that French lobbying for looser European AI rules was on its behalf.

In a blog posting earlier this week, Microsoft (MSFT.O) announced that it had made a 15-million euro ($16 million) investment in Mistral and that it would be making the Paris-based company’s AI models available through its Azure cloud computing platform in the near future.

Microsoft, in a statement to Reuters after the announcement, confirmed that it had invested in Mistral without taking a stake in the company. Later on, Microsoft clarified that its investment in Mistral would be converted into equity in the company’s next funding round, which is a practice that is common among big tech companies investing in AI startups.

It had been reported that Mistral and the French government had previously lobbied for looser regulations under the EU’s wide-ranging Artificial Intelligence Legislation, ostensibly to avoid over-regulating smaller startups under the Act.

There were some EU lawmakers who questioned on Tuesday whether Mistral had lobbied on behalf of Microsoft and whether the French government knew anything about the partnership before it was announced.

Kim van Sparrentak, an EU lawmaker who worked closely with the AI Act on the development of the Act, told Reuters that the story seems to have been a cover for an American-influenced big tech lobby.

It didn’t take long for the Act to almost collapse under the guise of no rules for the “European champions”, and now look at the result. The European regulators have been played.”

As a result, the French government denied knowing anything about the agreement prior to its signing.

There was some good news yesterday when we learned that Mistral has entered a technology partnership with Microsoft. It’s great to see that a young French company has entered into Microsoft’s previously exclusive partnership with OpenAI on the Azure platform, according to Reuters.

In addition to the other member states, France also participated in the drafting of the AI Act just like the rest of them.

The partnership project was not known to us at the time, but it has no particular consequences at the moment.”


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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