You are currently viewing Say hello to Albert! The new AI in French public services

The French administrative landscape is taking a historic turn with the emergence of a new artificial intelligence called Albert. Officially launched on April 24, 2024, this revolutionary AI marks a major turning point in administrative simplification, placing people at the heart of public services.

Developed within the Etalab department of DINUM (Direction Interministérielle du Numérique), Albert embodies an innovative and sovereign approach to AI.
The tool is hosted on French government infrastructure and is currently based on a model called Mistral 7B, but is due to be enhanced with another model called Llama 3. The creators have used various techniques to ensure that the tool effectively helps public service agents respond to online requests, making correct use of state information, producing verifiable content and adopting the tone of the administration.
Albert is the brainchild of the Interministerial Directorate for Digital Affairs (Dinum), headed by Ulrich Tan. His team created this sovereign AI for the French administration. Before Albert, the administration used several foreign models to test the development of other AIs, but with Albert, the aim is to meet all the administration’s needs, including those related to confidential data.
Albert has been developed using pre-trained open source models, such as Llama 2 and Mistral, enabling the administration to control the content of exchanges between Albert and agents, without having to rely on AI giants like OpenAI.

A Visionary Initiative 

The official launch of Albert was preceded by months of hard work, illustrating the French government’s determination to modernize and rationalize its public services. Gabriel Attal, underlined the strategic importance of this initiative at Albert’s inauguration. “Let’s dare to put AI to work for the French. Let’s de-bureaucratize the administration and simplify everyday life”, he asserted, highlighting the political will to place technological innovation at the service of the general interest. Thus, the keyword of this new AI is: “Administrative simplification”.

Unlike other AI models that rely on foreign platforms, Albert was developed entirely in-house, based on open source pre-trained models. This approach guarantees the French administration total control over the data exchanged, and reinforces the country’s digital sovereignty.

Albert Capabilities 

Albert promises to speed up administrative procedures, reduce delays and provide more precise and efficient responses. As soon as it goes live, Albert will be deployed in several key sectors of the French administration. From managing court hearings and automating medical reports, to detecting forest fires and managing human resources, this versatile AI promises to significantly improve the efficiency and responsiveness of public services. In the field of justice, Albert is used to help judges deal with civil and commercial litigation. AI can be used to sort cases and propose court rulings that are better adapted to individual situations.

In the tax sector, the use of AI has already produced convincing results, as the Prime Minister pointed out: “The AI developed by the tax authorities has detected 140,000 cases of fraud and recovered €40 million in revenue for local authorities.”

A Promising Future

In addition to Albert, another AI called Aristotle will soon be deployed by the government. Aristote focuses on the field of education, offering tutoring to meet the needs of the French education system. Developed by teams at Centrale Supélec and launched last June, Aristote will provide quizzes and assessments based on teaching materials to help students revise and improve their undergraduate success rates. In the interests of accessibility, this AI will automatically convert the sound of videos into subtitles, making 3,000 hours of lessons accessible to students with disabilities.

In conclusion, Albert’s arrival marks a new era in French public administration, placing the country at the forefront of technological innovation and digital governance.

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A propos de Émeline Cirou

En formation en Master 2, Droit de l'Économie Numérique à l'Université de Strasbourg

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