The tremendous increase in the volume of data produced globally, combined with the accelerated growth in capacity for processing this data – including artificial intelligence (AI) – is opening up vast new opportunities for individuals, for the economy, and for society as a whole.
The ongoing AI and data revolution gives us the power to focus on what’s essential and to better anticipate the future, while simplifying and improving daily life. In the health sector specifically, AI can be applied to medical imaging to discern potential precursor signs of disease that might not yet be visible to the naked eye.
To help us better understand our environment, AI has the potential to predict climate change or evolving biodiversity in ecosystems.
To give an example from another sector, AI is paving the way for the development of autonomous vehicles, which will radically transform the way we travel. AI also responds to specific business requirements by helping companies adapt to market complexities and changes, for example through increased information processing speeds, optimizing and automating business processes, or providing more dynamic, tailored offerings.
However, just as the internet revolution has continued to develop over the past 25 years, this subsequent large-scale revolution will also be complex and time-consuming. At Orange, we believe that this revolution needs to be supported if it is to be responsible, respectful, and useful for our personal and business customers.
But… what exactly is AI?
Artificial intelligence refers to the set of technologies that enable machines to try to reproduce and automate certain tasks that currently can only be achieved with human intelligence. So, in order to equip a machine with certain human capabilities such as language comprehension, sensory capacities, or the ability to make a decision from a number of possible choices, AI applies technologies such as speech recognition, automated learning and computer vision. However, AI also has many limitations and the prospect of "hard" AI, which is as hardwired and versatile as human intelligence, remains a long way off.
Supporting “soft” and ethical AI
We’re committed to limiting and controlling the risks associated with AI by paying particular attention to data governance. We do everything we can to configure algorithms that limit bias and errors, especially when the results are used to help people make decisions. We constantly analyze the risks and oversee all processes to enable human intervention if necessary.
Not only does AI enable us to research, test and reduce the energy consumption of our infrastructure, we’re actually developing more energy-efficient AI techniques and computation systems. What’s more, we’re supporting a wide range of initiatives to promote an ethical and rational use of AI and data, such as our collaboration with the Impact IA think tank, which was created in 2018 with Microsoft and other French partners.
In 2020, we signed the International Charter for Inclusive AI set up by the Arborus fund, and also obtained the GEEIS-AI (Gender Equality European & International Standard – Artificial Intelligence) certification in the same year. In 2021, we convened our first Data and AI Ethics Council, which is made up of 11 independent experts, and in 2022, published the Data and AI Ethics Charter, which specifies our ethical values on this same topic.
Orange's Engage 2025 strategic plan places AI and data front and center of its innovation model. Our ambition is to employe our AI expertise to make Orange a data-driven company, with the aim of increasing our agility and performance whilst enhancing our social and environmental leadership. To do this, we are developing programs in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, in three main areas:
Making our networks smarter:
Network virtualization and automation; intelligent management of network resources to ensure that they are optimally allocated while maintaining service quality; failure prediction and predictive maintenance on network equipment, etc.
Improving our operational efficiency:
Fighting against fraud through the implementation of monitoring solutions capable of using AI to detect suspicious and/or fraudulent behavior on our mobile or fixed networks and in our banking services, detecting abnormal electricity consumption on the network, etc.
Reinventing the customer experience:
Combining the best of the digital and human worlds to create a genuine "augmented customer experience" based on an omni-channel, fluid, simple, and personalized relationship, both for the services we offer and the overall customer journey.
+ than 10 years
of research in the field of
+ 500 patents
in the field of AI
and data among 9000 patents
filed by the Group
Providing valuable services while using data responsibly
In the field of business services, we enable customers to implement various AI and data solutions to become more agile and efficient. Orange Business Services (OBS) offers solutions designed to transform the customer experience (e.g. chatbots, data mining for call centers, etc.), improve business processes (e.g. predictive maintenance, computer vision for quality control, etc.), protect information systems (e.g. problem detection and troubleshooting, cybersecurity, etc.) and implement responsible management and data governance.
Our commitment to ecosystems
Having already been actively involved in the development of technologies and competencies relating to AI and data analysis for several years, Orange is investing in French and European ecosystems for research and innovation and is joining forces with numerous start-ups and industrial partners. Some examples :
- Providing funding for research activities carried out by public institutions and the SystemX and b<>com technology research institutes.
- Collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Institutes for Artificial Intelligence (3IA), Grenoble-Alpes and Côte d'Azur.
- Support for three teaching and research chairs: Personal Information Values and Policies (IMT), LIAvignon (University of Avignon), Risk and Resilience of Complex Systems (Centrale SupElec).
- Participation in several European cooperative projects as part of the Horizon 2020 program such as DEDICAT-6G.
- Framework contract with NTT to synchronize our research results in several areas, including AI.
- Contribution to Impact AI and the French Cercle Interelles Groupe Femmes et IA, to reduce the risk of discriminatory and sexist biases when designing or using digital solutions based on AI.
- Contribution to the publication of the GSMA AI Ethics Playbook in 2022.
- Joining the French consortium "Manifeste IA", alongside fifteen other industrial groups, for French sovereignty over AI.