prg.ai newsletter #42

prg.ai meetup with Murray Campbell, the most students of the inter-university program prg.ai Minor since its beginning, news not only in the Prague AI scene, interesting events, open positions and much more, all in the April edition of our newsletter. Stay up to date!

🏡 What’s new at prg․ai

Our flagship community event with Murray Campbell

IBM Research’s leading researcher and a key figure behind the Deep Blue chess computer, Murray Campbell, presented at the recent prgai meetup. His focus was on the fascinating role of games in AI, but the Q&A expanded to encompass other intriguing topics, including LLM reasoning. The packed hall buzzed with energy throughout the captivating lecture and insightful questions. The discussion flowed so naturally that it extended past its scheduled time, continuing over refreshments until late. Thank you to everyone for a wonderful evening! We look forward to seeing you again. You can find the full photo gallery here.

6th prg.ai Minor Cohort by the Numbers

The popularity of our inter-university program continues to soar! This year, we expanded capacity by 20 seats, enabling more passionate AI students to collaborate across four faculties. Out of 114 applicants, 64 talented individuals are now one step closer to their AI careers. We are particularly thrilled to see the growing interest from women in AI, with representation in our 6th cohort nearly doubling to 20 %!

AI in public administration

The AI in Public Administration conference in Hluboká nad Vltavou delivered two inspiring days filled with insightful lectures, panels, and compelling examples of AI’s implementation in government services. Among the experts from across the country were our own Lukáš and members of MAMA AI. Kuba Krchák notably presented on the topic of generative AI, outlining its potential as the voice of the future for public administration. We were honored to partner with this event, which served as a valuable continuation of our own AI 4 Gov event held during last year’s AI Days.

AI and innovation in education

At the Artificial Intelligence and Innovation in Education conference, we discussed everything from the current state of AI in our schools to practical teaching tips and methodological materials. In one of the introductory lectures, Lukáš highlighted the most important aspects of AI and emphasized its relevance beyond engineering and IT. We are pleased to have been able to partner with this event.

First Czech-Ukrainian AI forum

In April, the AI Forum Czechia & Ukraine brought together experts from both countries for a comprehensive discussion on the use of artificial intelligence in various sectors, including industry, energy, environmental protection, healthcare, and public safety. The forum covered not only updated information on the Czech NAIS (National Artificial Intelligence Strategy) but also the current state of AI development in Ukraine, along with several specific project examples. Our representative, Lukáš, participated in the forum and underscored the critical importance of continued and deepened cooperation between our countries, stressing the need to move beyond mere promises.

Nakopni Prahu announces its finalists!

The first round of the Prague innovation marathon, Nakopni Prahu, has concluded! Our expert jury carefully selected ten outstanding projects to advance to the finals. This year’s selection boasts exceptional diversity. We’re thrilled to be a part of the jury once again, and we’ll actively participate in the mentoring process. Additionally, the prg.ai prize awaits an exceptional AI project! Mark your calendars for 19 June  when the top three teams will receive financial and project support.

How to use AI in your company

We explored a range of topics at the interactive AI OPEN DAY workshop, including AI and ethics, as well as practical applications of AI in cybersecurity and tourism. Our Filip offered valuable insights into the vibrant Prague AI scene, showcasing specific examples of AI implementation across both business and academia. Additionally, the workshop included a fascinating tour of the RICAIP Testbed for Industry 4.0. This event was organized in collaboration with EDIH CTU and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Tradesmen of the Czech Republic.

Artificial intelligence in digital transformation

The theme of this year’s Digital Transformation was none other than artificial intelligence and its practical applications. Presentations and discussions covered everything from the ethics of AI to the role of AI and ML in digital transformation to chatbots and customer experience. Filip introduced participants to the Prague AI scene and specific AI use cases from business and academia.

Industry Talk from the world of generative AI

Our prg.ai Minor students enjoyed another insightful Industry Talk! Jan Cuřín and Šimon Kos from MAMA AI presented a fascinating deep dive into the world of generative AI. Their discussion covered a broad range of topics, including its business applications, practical solutions, and demonstrations of AI voices and personalized AI. They even explored biochemical AI and the intriguing issues surrounding voice assistants. The talk sparked engaging debates on topics such as legislation for chatbot creation and the vast amount of data required to train AI voices, like those of radio announcers.

New partners on board!

Welcome Cisco and Hein & Kollegen among our partners! The global technology leader Cisco probably needs no introduction. Through this partnership, we build upon our successful collaboration within the AI Insight Exchange. Cisco offers solutions to detect threats, analyze the network traffic of many millions of devices around the world and detect suspicious behavior. Hein & Kollegen is a leading German consulting firm that focuses, among other things, on the field of AI. The partnership was preceded by a collaboration at a Hein & Kollegen event for the leaders and owners of local small and medium-sized businesses. We connected them with progressive Czech AI startups. We believe that this partnership will open exciting opportunities within our neighboring western markets.

Don’t miss AI 4 Business #1.5!

Last Fall, we empowered over 150 companies and entrepreneurs with AI knowledge! Now, we’re back with a concise format perfect for busy schedules. Join the spring edition of AI 4 Business and unlock the true potential of AI for your business! Ditch the boring theory. This event focuses on practical, actionable ways to integrate AI into your company’s processes, products, and services. Learn from the hands-on experience of leading AI and consulting experts from Blindspot Solutions, Datamole, DataSentics, DNAI group, Ententee, EY Czech Republic, KPMG Czech Republic, MAMA AI, and Profinit. Get the full program and secure your tickets today! Visit our website or GoOut. Don’t miss out – see you on 22 May at 8:30 AM at NHQ ČSOB!

Where can you meet us?

Just like last year, we are partners of the GreenHack sustainability technology hackathon, which takes place on 27-28 May in Prague. For all hackers, innovators and dreamers. Registration is open until 16 May and teams and individuals with a passion for sustainability can join. Meet new people, get up to 50 000 CZK for your team and help the planet!

This year we are partnering with WebExpo 2024 for developers, designers, product managers and anyone with an interest in the web. If you don’t have your ticket yet, don’t forget to use our discount code “PRAGUEAI” with which you will get your ticket 20% cheaper. Our members are also participating in the event. One of the lectures will be given by Jan Čurn, founder and CEO of our member startup Apify. The event takes place on 29-31 May.

MAMA AI Academy is back! The next round will take place on 4 and 5 June and there are still places left. Don’t miss this perfect opportunity to learn about AI in a hands-on way. Dig into the basics of AI and try your hand at building your own voicebot!

👏 Local AI scene news that makes us proud

Those who learn to use AI will win

“People should embrace AI and creatively envision how it can improve and streamline their work,” emphasizes our co-founder Michal Pěchouček (AIC FEE CTU). In his ČT24 interview, he delved into critical topics surrounding AI, including its role in military collaborations, potential for replacing employees, influencing elections, and the enduring importance of empathy in this technological age.

How AI can kick-start science

Experts from European Union research organisations have issued an opinion advising to build a European institute for AI in science. Among them was Patrícia Martinková from the Institute of Computer Science of the CAS, recommending that the EU should also support research into the philosophical, legal and ethical aspects of using AI in scientific work.

AI in stroke drug development

A new method using machine learning algorithms enables more efficient design of proteins with better interaction properties, which are needed to significantly accelerate the development of new drugs for stroke and other diseases. Major advances in this research have been made by Josef Šivic’s team from the CIIRC CTU, in collaboration with Stanislav Mazurenko’s team from the Loschmidt Laboratories of Masaryk University (MUNI) and the International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC Brno), and Tomáš Pluskal’s team from the Institute of Clinical Research in Prague.

Music and AI?

The first workshop of the Prague Music Computing Group took place at Matfyz with guests who introduced the participants to Optical Music Recognition, a research area that deals with the computational reading of music notation in documents.

Czech final of EuroTeQ Collider

41 CTU students participated in the Czech final of the European EuroTeQ Collider competition. Six students from FIT CTU were represented in the teams that won first and third place and are now heading to the international competition EuroTeQaThon in Paris. For the first time, students from the Secondary Industrial School of Communication Technology (SPŠST) Panská also participated. Expanding cooperation with secondary schools is one of the tasks of the EuroTeQ university alliance.

AI and medicine

Medicine is an amazing field for AI research, but we need to maintain critical thinking. Not many people would be able to manually evaluate a seven-day ECG recording. That’s what doc. Ing. Lenka Lhotská (CIIRC CTU and FBMI CTU) in the podcast ČR Region. 

Titles from the Czech Republic and Belgium at the same time

FIT CTU has prepared a new Master’s degree in Digital Business Engineering in cooperation with the University of Antwerp. Wanaka Mannaert, who is the first graduate of the Double degree program at FIT CTU from UAntwerp, took advantage of this opportunity. By studying at two prestigious universities at the same time, she obtained two diplomas, two degrees and expanded her academic knowledge and future employment opportunities. 

Read, write and prompt

Michal Pěchouček reflects with Čestmir Strakatý on the future of AI in the premiere episode of Crunch Live from CzechCrunch. What are the most crucial and dangerous aspects of AI? Will generative AI run into limits due to lack of data?

How are deepfakes created?

Barbora Zitová of UTIA CAS spoke to CNN Prima News about the production and risks of deepfake videos. Videos created using AI were also a topic for Reportéři ČT. Among the commenting experts was the director of Gen, Ondřej Vlček.

Data visualization and the most common mistakes

What mistakes can occur when visualizing data and how to prevent them? How can data be manipulated and how to read it well? Find out in the technology podcast “Ones and Zeros” with Magda Friedjungová (FIT CTU). 

The success of the bricklaying robot

CIIRC CTU has achieved a significant success in the prestigious international competition 2024 euRobotics Technology Transfer Award for the result of the WLTR bricklaying robot project, which was developed in cooperation with Wienerberger A.G. and KM Robotics, s.r.o., in which the project won the prestigious second place. 

Primary school children build robots

The FEL CTU Robotics Competition for primary schools has so far had three winners in the independent final rounds. The winners of these independent rounds are the teams Yesterday It Worked (Nový PORG in Prague 4), Hradečtí baráčníci 1 (DDM Dvůr Králové) and Gyrotechnici (Gymnázium Písnická in Prague 4). A total of 115 teams from 60 different schools have deployed their robots and the best 17 teams will meet once more in the superfinal round, from where the absolute winner will emerge – this will take place on 11 May at the Maker Faire Prague. 

Automated theorem proving

The Vampire project, on which Martin Suda of the CIIRC is also working, is one of the leaders in the rapidly developing field of automated theorem proving, a subfield of classical artificial intelligence. Last year, Vampire succeeded in the CASC World Automated Proving Championship with its version Vampire 4.8.

Looking back at career days

Six thousand students, one hundred companies, two faculties – this is a brief list of the third edition of the Career Days, which were held by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of CTU in their premises on the Dejvice campus at the beginning of April.

Recombee at NAB Show

The co-founders of Recombee attended the NAB Show in Las Vegas, which is dedicated to connecting the broadcast, media and entertainment industries. The occasion provided them with a valuable opportunity to network with existing partners such as Axinom and Modern TV, as well as explore potential relationships with future clients and partners.

Will generative AI influence the election?

In an interview with Forum 24, cyber warfare expert Adéla Klečková of DataSentics, focused on the role of generative AI in the US and Czech elections. How can generative AI influence their course? For example, how to detect a deepfake? Find out in the article.

Amazon startup fund in the Czech Republic!

With approximately twenty-four billion crowns, Amazon is expanding its startup fund to Europe. It will focus mainly on robotics, artificial intelligence, logistics or automation. This brings new opportunities for Czech startups and scientists. But the cooperation of Czech academia with Amazon is nothing new. For example, our board member Jan Šedivý from CIIRC and his Alquist with conversational AI succeeded in the global Amazon Science Alexa Prize competition.

Winning eDocuments

Aricoma’s eDoklady app for easy identity proofing and verification won the audience award at AppParade. Aricoma representatives Jiří Šilhan and Lucie Němcová accepted the award at the Prague Congress Centre. 

mVoice Studio creates audio descriptions

MAMA AI has developed an innovative product mVoice Studio for Prima Group, which helps to create audio descriptions “AD” in Czech language by synthesizing human voice and artificial intelligence. This will expand the range of programmes for visually impaired viewers.

Apify celebrates another success

Apify, a web scraping and data extraction platform, has raised an investment of CZK 70 million to develop the product and grow its developer community. Founders Jan Čurn and Jakub Balada continue to retain a majority stake in the company. 

Thousands of counterfeit documents detected daily

How AI can be used to detect forgeries, why electricity bills are being forged and what (probably) lies ahead in this area. All this was answered by Kristýna Schusterová and Tereza Štefková from Resistant AI in the Lupa.cz podcast.

New partnership between EY and NVIDIA

EY announces a partnership with NVIDIA to accelerate the adoption of AI solutions by clients. This partnership combines NVIDIA’s leading-edge AI technology with EY’s industry expertise to drive efficiencies and support innovation across industries. 

Improve public transport in your city!

CITYA is looking for a municipality or city to provide a detailed traffic analysis and the advanced CITYA digital platform free of charge for six months. It enables the deployment of operational public transport driven by data, AI and smart algorithms to improve transport services. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Regional Development.

How to Databricks

In the last Datamole blog, they introduce three ways to access Databricks data from external services: the SQL Connector, Databricks Connect (Spark), and Delta sharing. 

The best NVIDIA partners

NVIDIA has announced its top partners of the year, including M Computers in the Go-to-Market Excellence category.

AI Projects as Innovators of the Year!

Hospodarske noviny traditionally awards the ten most innovative projects and personalities. This year’s list included several pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence. Among them are the biggest hope in AI development Matyáš Boháček, the startup Aireen, which detects visual impairment thanks to eye screening, and Upheal, a platform aimed at helping therapists. Our partner ČSOB and ABRA Software a.s. are also collaborating on the project.

How to AI Copilot

Among other things, Aricoma educates companies how they can use AI at work and be more efficient and engage in more substantial activities as a result. Thus, they hold a series of educational webinars, the next one will take place on 21 May and will introduce the capabilities of Microsoft 365 Copilot.

AI in Media

Artificial intelligence has long played a key role in media intelligence. With advanced algorithms, it is revolutionizing media monitoring, editorial processes and summaries. At the Communication Summit on 5 June, Newton Media will showcase how new technologies can help communications teams improve transparency, speed and accuracy in the media sector.

🎭Events we’re excited about

11-12 May – Maker Faire – workshop, interactive activities, suitable for families with children

13 May – AI and Sustainability – in Helsinki or online

13 May – Informatics evenings: How can AI accelerate the building of startups? – Adam Zvada

13-14 May – ISSS Conference – focused on eGovernment, in Hradec Králové

14 May – Center TAH meetup in Brno – meeting of the transdisciplinary platform for new technologies, arts and humanities

14-16 May – Shared Sevices & Outsourcing Week

15 MayMathematical problems of non-mathematicians: mathematics and images  – Barbara Zitová (ÚTIA)

15 May Flavours of Data Stack regular meetup, organized by STRV, Slido, and Kiwi.com

16 May AI & Byznys 3.0 

16 May Czech Republic Snowflake Data Cloud Group Meetup #2

16 May DATA mesh #19 by Livesport

20 May Science Café: Quantum computers

21-23 May. – How will AI shape your future? – Seattle and online

21 May. – Unlock Value from Chat & Call Recordings with Generative AI

22 May. – AI 4 Business #1.5 edition – spring shortened edition of AI 4 Business by prg․ai

23 May. – AI for Body & Soul

23 May – The 60th meeting of the Prague computer science seminar – doc. RNDr. Ondřej Bojar, Ph.D. 

24 May –How to use data in public administration?

28 May – Business Breakfast – Responsible AI: AI and ethics

28 May –  AI horizons: AI and propaganda

29 May – Open Day of RICAIP Testbed Prague and National Centre of Industry 4.0 at CTU CIIRC

29 May EIT Manufacturing Open Innovation Breakfast

29-31 May WebExpo

30 May – 1 Jun –Science Faire

You can find all the events we find interesting in our Google Calendar.

🧩 Stuff that interests us

Financial Times and OpenAI partnership

The Financial Times announced a strategic partnership and licensing agreement with OpenAI, a leader in AI research and deployment, to extend ChatGPT with attributed content, help improve the utility of its models by incorporating FT journalism, and collaborate on the development of new AI products and features for FT readers. 

New AI Chamber

Nearly 50 Polish companies have joined the newly formed AI Chamber, a lobby group that aims to promote the responsible development of artificial intelligence in Central and Eastern Europe.

Stanford’s AI Index 2024

The AI Index report tracks, collects and visualises data related to artificial intelligence. It provides objective and verified data usable by policy makers, researchers, journalists and the general public. This year’s report maps more information than ever before, reflecting even the biggest trends such as technological advances in AI, public perception of the technology, and the geopolitical dynamics surrounding its development.

📢 Community calls

What is the picture of AI in CEE?

Take part in a survey for The Recursive’s AI market report for 2024 and get into the minds of more than 1.75 million people worldwide. Complete the survey by May 31.

💼 Open job positions

Artificial Intelligence Center FEE CTU

CIIRC

Apify

ententee

Datamole

DNAi

MAMA AI

Qminers

Recombee

Rossum

Aricoma

KPMG

Technologická gramotnost

Valeo