Facilitating entry into the spotlight
AI-related research in Prague dates back to the early 1960s and is closely linked with the rise of computational linguistics at Charles University and automation at the CTU. The scientific community has traditionally been spread across the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague, and the Institute of Computer Science and Institute of Information Theory and Automation at the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Over the past 25 years, the emphasis on academic AI research and development has been further strengthened by the establishment of the Center for Machine Perception, the Artificial Intelligence Center, the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics, the Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and the Research Center for Informatics — a joint initiative between the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Information Technology at the CTU.
Machine Perception (e.g. Intelligent Machine Perception Project), NLP (e.g. CUBITT translation or Alquist), Intelligent Robotics (e.g. DARPA Sub-T Challenge), and Automated Reasoning (e.g. AI4REASON Project) have scored particularly well in terms of international recognition in recent years.
Apart from the ubiquitous focus on Machine Learning across all institutions, other research areas such as Planning, Scheduling & Optimisation, Game Theory, Security, Biomedical Data Processing, Assistive Technologies, AGI, AI & Ethics, or AI journalism have been gaining prominence.
A common thread among all major research groups are firmly established links to national and international grant agencies, local and global industry players, non-profit organisations, and prestigious universities and research institutes. Prague has become a host of various conferences such as IROS 2021, GameSec 2021, or CyberSec & AI.
The fact that the Czech metropolis offers a conducive environment for research excellence to senior scientists is further confirmed by the return of Josef Šivic, Josef Urban, and Tomáš Mikolov from their international posts, as well as the recent arrival of Stefan Edelkamp, Torsten Sattler, or Christoph Krisch.
You can further explore the diversity of the Prague AI scene via our database.
What’s it like to live and work in Prague?
“Generally, the prospect of being part of an AI institute where people know what they’re doing is great. I enjoy a lot of creative freedom when it comes to the projects I work on at AIC compared to other institutions. And socially — it usually takes a moment to get Czechs warm up to you, but then they’re typically really nice.” — Niklas Heim, Germany (Department of Computer Science, FEE, CTU)
“I like the vibe of Prague. It is a beautiful, international, and fun city that is also pretty comfortable to live in. When you’re in the centre, you can hop on a tram and find yourself in unspoiled nature in just twenty minutes.” — Alex Kovalenko, Russia (Programming Research Lab, FIT, CTU)
“The Visual Recognition Group provides researchers with excellent administrative and organisational support so you can focus on the things you love to do. They were ready to welcome me before I physically joined the team, which is something I really appreciate.” – Giorgios Tolias, Greece (Center for Machine Perception, FEE, CTU)
“Prague is super rich in terms of people, knowledge, and development. Not only are there great academic institutions with excellent researchers but there are also numerous companies that support research.” — Maria Saumell, Spain (Combinatorial Group, CS, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic & FIT, Czech Technical University)
Making your life easier
Prague is not only home to world-class experts and a top-notch academic environment. It is also a modern European city that is consistently ranked as one of the ten safest cities in the world. In addition, Czechia is among the ten most attractive countries for starting a family, based on indices such as safety, happiness, financial costs, health, and education.
To acquaint incoming researchers with our metropolis and make their transfer easier, we have created a Practical Guide for a Happy Life in Prague. We have also launched the Prague’s International Researchers community, which aims to facilitate the sharing of useful information and insights related to living and working in Czechia and help researchers establish personal ties and multidisciplinary professional synergies.