newsletter #44

The last newsletter before the holiday break is filled with exciting news from the Czech world of artificial intelligence! We're launching the Czech National AI Platform, aiming to propel the Czech Republic to the forefront of European AI leadership. We'll also reveal the winner of our Nakopni Prahu award for the best AI project. You'll find research updates, stories about AI in healthcare, and more. Plus, don't miss the open AI positions in European institutions! Let's explore together how AI is shaping a better future for the Czech Republic.

🏡  What’s new at prg․ai

Launching the Czech National AI Platform

We’re uniting with leading organizations such as the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic, Brno.AI, CzechInvest, ICT UNIE, BIC Plzeň, and the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre to establish Czechia as a European AI powerhouse. The Czech National AI Platform (CNAIP) builds upon our existing collaborations, expanding their impact nationwide.

The Platform’s mission is to connect key players in the Czech AI landscape, bolster Czechia’s position in AI, and actively champion innovation, education, and awareness in this domain. CNAIP also aims to empower Czech companies to leverage AI’s potential and emerge as European leaders.

Together, let’s unlock Czechia’s full potential and inspire others. Join us on this journey!

Dny AI and AI Awards

The Festival of Artificial Intelligence Dny AI returns this October! From the 14th to the 27th, the Czech Republic will be immersed in all things AI. Dozens of events, lectures, workshops, and discussions across 13 cities will explore the latest trends and applications of artificial intelligence in various fields. Meet experts, enthusiasts, and representatives from companies and institutions to glimpse how AI is transforming our world. 

You can get involved too! Have an event idea? Sign up as an organizer and be part of AI Days! Want to support AI in the Czech Republic? Contact us about becoming a sponsor. 

We’ll honor outstanding achievements in artificial intelligence with the AI Awards on November 21st. These are the only Czech industry awards dedicated to AI, highlighting successful projects, individuals, companies, and organizations making a significant impact on AI development in Czechia 

Top AI Project at Nakopni Prahu

For the second consecutive year, we presented the award for the best AI project at the Nakopni Prahu innovation marathon. The award went to HELA, the Helpdesk Automation for Government project, which automates and streamlines query handling at government helpdesks. HELA employs machine learning and natural language processing to locate relevant information and suggest responses, saving valuable time and resources. The prize consists of $1,000 worth of promotional credits for cloud services with our partners Amazon Web Services and TrustSoft.

Czech AI mission to the USA

In June, a Czech business and academic delegation focused on artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and cybersecurity embarked on a mission to the USA. Our Lukáš participated, visiting esteemed institutions like Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center, Amazon Web Services, and the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. The mission fostered positive impressions, inspired the Czech AI community, and reaffirmed the Czech Republic’s position as a valued ally and partner for the USA. Organized by the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, the delegation included our members Ondřej Bojar (Matfyz, Charles University) and Jan Mikšátko (Ententee).

We are members of the Pride Business Forum!

We’re proud to have joined the Pride Business Forum in June, as they share’s core values of inclusivity and diversity. In the field of AI, diverse perspectives are crucial for driving innovation and ensuring technology benefits everyone. We look forward to collaborating with other Pride Business Forum members to create a more inclusive and equitable industry and society. Together, we can build a brighter future for all!

Inspiration for the Digital Future!

We proudly partnered with the Digital Czechia conference this year. Our Lukáš participated in a panel discussion on how artificial intelligence will transform the world, alongside Karel Havlíček (Vice-Chairman of the Czech Parliament), Tomáš Mikolov (a leading Czech AI expert), and Jeremy Rollison (Head of EU Policy at Microsoft).

Elements of AI Summit Concludes!

Our Bára recently returned from Helsinki, where she attended the summit for national partners of the renowned global online course Elements of AI. The agenda encompassed presentations on teaching AI, featuring innovative approaches like utilizing a social media simulator in schools. There was also a visit to the iconic Finnish brand Marimekko, where AI and data science are integral throughout their entire process – from pattern design to customer service.

Cybersecurity and AI Update

We recently held another meeting of the Platform for Research and Development in Cyber and Information Security. The focus was financial support for research and development in this field. Our Filip moderated the panel discussion “Impact of legislation on competitiveness and innovativeness of AI R&D.” Panelists included Jan Šedivý (CTU), Lucie Schaffelhoferová (MPO), Jan Kleindienst (MAMA AI), and Petr Kuchtík (NUKIB). The discussion centered on current EU AI legislation and its potential impact on the Czech legal system. Updates to the Security Strategy, Action Plans, and the National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence were also covered.

Exploring the future of AI

The 4EU+ AI Days at Charles University brought together experts to explore AI’s impact on society and education. The robust program offered lectures, discussions, and workshops. Our Filip guided participants through a technology showcase, featuring members from MAMA AI and AI for Kids. Key topics included the role of AI in research, ethical considerations, and adapting the academic environment to this rapidly evolving field.

CNAIP is partnering abroad!

CNAIP is ICT Community Partner of the upcoming AI Tech Summit (3 – 4 October)in Skopje, Macedonia, attracting 700+ AI professionals in Southeastern Europe. This is a unique opportunity to connect with the vibrant AI community not only in the Balkans and showcase our organization alongside cutting-edge AI solutions.

Supporting Health Tech Startups

Our partner Polski Fundusz Rozwoju has launched a new cohort of its intensive three-week School of Pioneers program for visionaries and health tech startups. During the program, participants will learn how to validate their ideas, create MVPs (minimum viable products), build teams, and raise funds. They will also receive mentoring from industry experts. Interested in how startup support works in Poland? Follow the School of Pioneers program and consider getting involved in future challenges.

Czech Republic as an AI Powerhouse?

Hospodářské noviny recently highlighted the update of the National AI Strategy, currently being prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The article questioned the Czech Republic’s priorities in artificial intelligence. Our Lukáš emphasized the lack of clear priorities in the current strategy and stressed the growing importance of artificial intelligence as an economic sector that deserves greater attention in the Czech Republic.

👏  Local AI scene news that makes us proud

AI battles tooth decay

AI is exposing tooth decay, the most widespread disease affecting roughly half the world’s population. Researchers from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at CTU and the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University have developed a deep learning-based method allowing AI to diagnose cavities in X-rays as effectively as experienced dentists.

The first microcredentials on AI in industry

The Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are jointly organizing the first microcredential course focused on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in industrial practice. The course, designed for university graduates, will take place in September of this year in Prague and Munich. Graduates will receive a micro-certificate, a recognized educational format across the EU.

Training AI on our data?

Jakub Mareček from AIC FEL CTU spoke to ČT24 [12:55] about Meta’s decision to train its AI on user posts. Meta has been forced to extend the deadline for European users to opt out of this data collection.

Faster AI drug development

Artificial intelligence that understands the complex structures of proteins could revolutionize drug development, especially for conditions like blood clots and Alzheimer’s. This AI can predict protein effects, model their behavior, and offer crucial insights for drug design. Anton Bushuyev and Josef Šivic (CIIRC) presented this groundbreaking research on Czech Radio’s Experiment program.

CIIRC offers doctoral programs

The Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) is now a training institute of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at CTU (FEE CTU). It offers doctoral programs in informatics, cybernetics, robotics, and bioengineering, providing students with advanced knowledge and research opportunities under the guidance of leading scientists.

International Quantum Hackathon winners announced

The first International Quantum Hackathon showcased the power of quantum computing with AI to locate mines in the ocean. CTU students led the winning team, demonstrating exceptional talent alongside 44 young innovators from around the world. The winning team included students from FIT CTU and a high school student from SPŠE Plzeň. Second and third place went to teams from FIT CTU and a combined team from FJFI and FIT CTU, respectively.

Mind hacking and defense strategies

Explore the world of digital manipulation in the Ones and Zeros podcast featuring Josef Holý from the Department of Information Security at FIT CTU. Holý, an expert on disinformation, delves into the various types of online manipulation and how to defend against them.

Award-winning doctoral thesis

Yash Patel (FEE CTU) received the Antonín Svoboda Prize for his outstanding doctoral thesis in computer science and cybernetics. The thesis, which focuses on training neural networks with nondifferentiable objective functions, was recognized for its originality and significant contribution to deep neural network learning.

No steering wheel needed

Czech police, in collaboration with scientists from the Czech Technical University (CTU) and Brno University of Technology (VUT), are developing an AI-powered system that can remotely stop vehicles by cutting off their fuel supply. This system is part of a larger initiative to advance autonomous mobility in the Czech Republic, as reported by Ekonom.

How smart is AI, really?

The rise of AI is transforming industries and prompting questions about its actual intelligence, the regulation of tech companies, and Europe’s role in this landscape. Tomáš Mikolov from the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC CTU) explores AI’s capabilities and advocates for ethical frameworks for its development. He emphasizes that Europe should foster innovation while safeguarding societal values.

What about the AI Act?

A commentary by Jakub Mareček from the Centre for Artificial Intelligence FEE CTU, published in Hospodářské noviny (HN), delves into the potential impact of the forthcoming European Union AI Act on Czech businesses. The commentary examines the requirements and exemptions within the Act, highlighting opportunities that Czech companies can leverage.

AI rewrites bacterial DNA

Scientists from CTU, the Academy of Sciences, and Masaryk University are harnessing AI to modify bacterial DNA, aiming to create novel drugs for dissolving blood clots. These drugs are expected to be safer, more affordable, and more effective than existing thrombolytics, as reported by ROZHLAS.

New publication on Industry 4.0

The National Centre for Industry 4.0, collaborating with nearly 60 authors, is preparing a publication titled “Industry 4.0 – The Basis of Economic Transformation.” This publication serves as a sequel to the seminal 2016 book, “Industry 4.0 – A Vision for the Czech Republic.”

The evolution of AI over the last 50 years

Vladimír Mařík highlights that the fundamental principles of AI have remained consistent for the past 30 years, while advancements in computing power and data have propelled its progress. In an interview with Seznam Zprávy, he shares his insights into the evolution of AI and its impact on society.

Central European tech startups are thriving!

Congratulations to our corporate members Resistant AI and Apify, as well as numerous other Czech AI startups (Woltair, Daytrip, 4Trans Factoring, Choice Czech Republic, Wflow,, Whalebone, vocalls, Varistar), who secured spots on prestigious “Sifted 30” list of fastest-growing companies. Also, our member Rossum has earned a place on Sifted’s “B2B SaaS Rising 100” list. As leaders in intelligent document processing, they are the fastest-growing company on this list, jumping from 99th place last year to 13th this year. Last but not least, our member Recombee is also excelling, making it onto the Deloitte EMEA Fast 500 list for 2023. This renowned award recognizes the most rapidly expanding technology companies in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

No boring data analysts!

Despite specializing in data and artificial intelligence, Datamole has recently showcased its creative side through a series of innovative projects. These include Drinkobot, an AI-powered chatbot that bartends; EDVART, an open-source library for data visualization; and an interactive rainfall map of the Czech Republic. These projects demonstrate Datamole’s technical expertise and commitment to innovation beyond its core areas of focus.

AI shopping assistant

A new case study by Datasentics highlights the development of an AI shopping assistant for Heureka. The assistant translates complex product information into simple questions, guiding users towards the best choices for their needs.

Supercomputers on the scene

M Computers has supplied NVIDIA DGX supercomputers to scientists at CEITEC BUT. These powerful tools help researchers process data from production machines and robots in real-time. Additionally, they will be made available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for testing their AI applications.

Integration for vector databases

Apify introduces new integrations for vector databases. With Qdrant-Apify, you can now feed Apify-derived data into your Qdrant collections. Additionally, the Apify integration with Pinecone allows you to feed web-derived data into your Pinecone vector database.

Hierarchical modeling and NumPyro predictive functions

NumPyro is a powerful tool for probabilistic programming, offering tutorials on regression but not explicitly addressing how to predict new data points. In a recent blog post, Datamole fills this gap by providing instructions on creating a custom predictive tool for your model.

A billion dollars into AI

Our partner Cisco is establishing a $1 billion investment fund for AI startups. The newly created fund has already committed $200 million, with Cohere, Mistral AI, and Scale AI among the first recipients.

AI as a cyber threat

Gen highlights the rise of sophisticated techniques that misuse AI to manipulate users and steal sensitive data. The article emphasizes AI’s key role in modern cyberattacks, such as deepfake videos and voice clones.

AI Assistant and Recorder

Newton Media has unveiled its new AI assistant, Isaac, soon to be available on the NewtonOne app. Isaac utilizes a Large Language Model (LLM) to analyze content and streamline working with large media datasets. Another innovation is Beey, a machine transcription tool for spoken word that makes verbatim transcriptions more efficient and cost-effective. Beey customizes models for specific clients like parliaments and courts, as reported by Forbes.

🎭 Events we’re excited about

– 8 – 14 July – EuroPython 2024  

– 11 July  – Document Fraud Fighting 101: Key Principles for Success webinar 

– 22 July – Dinesh Manocha: Robot Navigation in Complex Indoor and Outdoor Environments – Lecture 

– 17-20 July – Human-aligned AI Summer School

– 22-26 July – Summer School at FIT CTU: With Artificial Intelligence in the Online Space

– 25 July – Towards self driving – an afternoon dedicated to a series of seminars by experts on self-driving vehicles

– 30 August – 1 September – GLOBSEC Forum 2024

– 9 – 11 September – Two-day workshop “Image Analysis in Nuclear Research” at the Institute of Nuclear Fuel – Digital Image Processing – Neural Networks. excursion to CVŘ s.r.o. 

– 10 – 11 September – AI Academy by MAMA AI

– 12 September  – Video Hunter Summer Workshop – for high school students incl. cash prize for top three teams


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

🧩 Stuff that interests us

Generative AI’s potential in Central and Eastern Europe 

A new study by Implement Consulting Group for Google reveals that generative AI has the potential to significantly boost the region’s economy, increasing GDP by up to 5% and creating new jobs. However, unlocking this potential requires investing in digital skills and preparing key sectors for AI implementation.

Czechia’s first municipal chatbot! 

Czechia has launched its first AI-powered municipal chatbot named Tessa. As reported by Czech Radio (CRo), Tessa will answer questions about the municipality of Mokrá Horákov for anyone interested. Tessa’s counterpart, the chatbot Honzík, will cater to mayors and officials. CRo will explain how Honzík will assist them.

AI adoption in Czech companies

According to Deloitte, 42% of Czech companies are actively working with or experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI). Nearly half of these companies anticipate that generative AI will reduce costs and view it as a crucial business strategy for enhancing customer experience, as reported by Novinky.

Major investments in Czechia

US-based company Onsemi is investing CZK 46.3 billion to expand chip production in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. This project is expected to boost the Czech Republic’s GDP and will utilize AI to increase energy efficiency.


📢 Community calls

Gemini API Developer Competition

Are you a visionary in the realm of artificial intelligence? Google challenges you to create an innovative app using the Gemini API or integrate this cutting-edge technology into your existing project. The grand prize? An electric version of the iconic 1981 DeLorean! Additionally, $1 million will be awarded across various categories, including greatest social impact, creativity, usefulness, best cross-platform app, and best use of technology. Don’t miss out—the registration deadline is August 12th!

AI to Accelerate Inclusion Challenge

The Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate Inclusion Challenge (AI2AI Challenge) is a global initiative seeking innovative AI solutions that foster inclusive economic growth and address inequalities. Led by and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the Challenge aims to support the development and scaling of AI solutions that are equitable, accountable, and beneficial to underserved communities. Registration closes soon on July 18th, so act quickly!

Call for Tech startups with defense potential

NATO is launching the second edition of its Defence Innovation Accelerator (DIANA), which supports startups developing defense-relevant dual-use technologies. This year’s key focus areas are energy, data and information security, sensors, human health and performance, and critical infrastructure and logistics. DIANA offers startups grants, market access, testing opportunities, mentorship, and connections to investors. Applications are due by August 9.

Launch your startup with Sherpa!

Sherpa, the accelerator from Czech Founders VC, is here for startups. It offers an investment of EUR 40,000, workshops with experts, lessons in key areas and personal mentoring.  If you have an MVP, customers, experience, and a team, apply now before the second batch closes.

AI positions in European Institutions

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission is seeking a Project Scientist to join its Human Behaviour and Machine Intelligence (HUMAINT) team. This team contributes to EU policies on artificial intelligence, particularly the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) and the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Additionally, the European Commission is recruiting legal and policy officers for its Digital Services Act enforcement teams within Commission Representations across all EU Member States. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to work on groundbreaking legislation and help shape a Europe that’s ready for the digital age.

💼 Open job positions

Artificial Intelligence Center FEE CTU













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