IBM’s CEO Virginia Rometty says the company is looking to expand in France and hire nearly 2000 people. This is an effort by IBM to advance research into artificial intelligence (AI) as well as develop more uses for blockchain technology.

On May 23, 2018, the French newspaper Le Monde reported on an interview with Virginia Rometty who serves as the CEO of IBM.

According to Rometty approximately 1800 people would be hired by IBM and since January of this year IBM has already brought in 400 people for the new projects. The company says the jobs will include AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things. “We want to make France a center of excellence dedicated to artificial intelligence,” Rometty said. “IBM collaborates with major clients such as Crédit Mutuel, Orange Bank, Generali, SNCF or LVMH. These examples show that France is doing the job well to be a driving force in AI.”

One surprise was that IBM is going to bring a training program to France, and according to Rometty it will be one of the largest in the world. It’s also a new approach to what the job entails. IBM is calling this new kind of work “new collar jobs”. This means that it is neither blue collar nor white collar work, but it is one that uses both human and machinery together.

Rometty also stressed the fact that many people may not go to a university but that doesn't mean that those people should be put aside. Beginning in high school IBM says they want to help prepare students to work with the Internet of Things, AI and blockchain. In combination with public and private groups, IBM would help the schools with the curriculum that they need and in turn that will benefit both the students and the industry together. IBM says they currently have 400 companies participating in the program with some 75,000 students worldwide.