Traditionally, Europe has lagged behind America when it comes to big tech, although it’s been home to companies like Spotify, Skype and Nokia. But things are changing.
According to Statista, the market size of the AI market in Europe is projected to reach $66.14bn in 2023, with an annual growth rate of 17.33% – compared to the US’s projected market size this year of $87.18bn.
Part of what’s driving growth is the increasing use of AI in healthcare in the EU, as well as in customer service and support (like chatbots and virtual assistants) and ChatGPT’s explosion into the mainstream in late 2022 showed European companies that the time was right to continue boosting their work on artificial intelligence.
So, which European cities are leading the way when it comes to being AI-ready in 2023?
Major tech companies had pegged Paris as a good incubator for AI years before ChatGPT–in 2015, Facebook opened an AI research hub in the French capital and according to Choose Paris Region, there are 150 R&D labs in the city dedicated to AI.
It’s also home to events like Big Data and AI Paris, which recently attracted over 16,000 visitors to the city. Plus, private research centres in the city include Google AI, Stellantis, Renault, and Microsoft Research-Inria Joint Center.
There are also Parisian startups like Dust, co-founded by former OpenAI engineer Stanislas Polu and generative AI startup Mistral, which was founded by former Meta and DeepMind employees and made waves after a €105m seed round earlier this year.
Another up-and-comer is LightOn, which is headquartered in Paris and has aimed to “push the boundaries of extreme-scale AI” since 2016.
One of the other big draws is the American-French startup Hugging Face, which entered into a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services this year.
When it comes to London and AI, DeepMind automatically springs to mind.
The British-American company set up by Demis Hassabis, Mustafa Suleyman and Shane Legg in 2010 was acquired by Alphabet in 2014.
A big sign of London’s readiness in AI is that OpenAI chose the city for its first office outside the US this year–OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman said the move was an “opportunity to attract world-class talent” to a sector that already employs more than 50,000 people across the country.
Additionally, the number of AI companies and startups in London stands at 1,387 according to Datacity. The London-based company Synthesia became the third unicorn of 2023 when it raised a funding round and was valued at $1 billion this summer.
Other London-based AI companies include Stability AI, Builder AI, and Tractable.
Dublin has a long association with Big Tech, leading back to the early 2000s when Google based itself in the Irish capital’s docklands, “Silicon Docks’, which is now home to multiple major tech companies.
Today, Dublin has a high density of AI talent, and its longtime residents Meta, Google and Microsoft are “among the top five companies hiring AI talent globally”, while Google and Amazon are building up teams of AI talent.
There is plenty of interesting AI work in Dublin: Generative AI startup Gemmo AI was launched this year hot on the heels of ChatGPT; EY opened its AI labs in late 2022; and Nuritas has long worked in the AI and genomics area.
Being the largest economy in Europe means Germany is perfectly poised to take advantage of AI growth.
The country has launched a €1bn Deeptech and Climate Fund for growth-stage companies–including those in the AI sector–at the start of this year.
Meanwhile, the turnover of AI companies in Berlin-Brandenburg is expected to rise to €2 billion by 2025.
Major tech companies which have also been investing in the AI area are based in Berlin, such as Amazon, Zalando and SAP, which bodes well for people looking to work in the AI sector.
As for research into AI, there’s the nonprofit German Centre for Artificial Intelligence.
Sweden is already home to major tech companies like Ericsson and Spotify, so when it comes to spotting the potentialities in AI, it’s well positioned: its national AI strategy was launched back in 2018.
Stockholm is a leader when it comes to startup unicorns per capita and has the largest talent pool for AI amongst Nordic countries.
Organisations like AI Sweden and Vinnova are providing the information and support for companies who are interested in moving more towards AI, meanwhile, Stockholm is home to AI startups including Ecobloom and Depict.ai.
A report by EY into AI in Sweden found that three factors that will benefit the growth of AI (which are shared across the Nordics) are a focus on ethics, equality and fairness; the availability of valuable national datasets; and the fact Nordic countries are well-versed in digitalisation and rank highly in digital competitiveness.
Looking To The Future
According to McKinsey, AI is expected to create 20 to 50 million jobs globally by 2030, across a range of sectors.
Companies that regularly hire for roles in the AI space in Europe include Accenture, Tractable and Tibber. To keep up with their open roles, why not bookmark their pages on the Silicon Canals Job Board.