Daniel Stach is the charismatic host of Hyde Park Civilisation, a weekly program which runs every Saturday evening on public broadcaster Czech TV. Daniel has interviewed numerous acclaimed scientists, award-winning and groundbreaking researchers, Nobel Prize laureates about everything from quantum mechanics to the latest research in DNA. There is no doubt in his mind, or the team behind him, that the spreading of information, the debate of ideas, and an understanding of science, is of fundamental importance for our future.
Earlier this year, the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee caused something of a stir with a resolution aiming to grant robots legal status in order to hold them ‘responsible for acts or omissions’. The move caught some off guard in what is quite complex or even uncharted legal territory. Alžběta Krausová, a well-known researcher at the Institute for State and Law at the Czech Academy of Sciences specialising in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence is one who has followed the conversation closely as well as added to it. She
A new Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics was ceremonially opened at the Czech Technical University in Prague’s Dejvice district on Tuesday. The teaching and research centre cost around CZK 1.5 billion and is intended to support the digitisation of Czech industry, a stated priority of the government. President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka attended the opening.
Academia Film Olomouc is one of the longest running film festivals in the Czech Republic. What is unique is that this festival, now in its 52nd year, focusses largely on science documentary films. The Future is Now is this year’s motto and it won’t be a surprise that films being screened examine both the promises but also potential risks in fields moving rapidly forward, such as robotics, bioengineering, nanotechnology and of course the big one - artificial intelligence.
Martin Schmid, Matej Moravčík (PhD students at Department of Applied Mathematics, Charles University) and Viliam Lisý (Assistant professor, Czech Technical University) are three of several authors of a recent paper published in this month’s edition of Science reporting on the development of a revolutionary AI called DeepStack which they helped design at the University of Alberta.
In this edition of Czech Life, we speak to the Prague-based video game designer Marek Rosa, founder of Keen Software House and more recently a firm focussing on artificial intelligence. Last July, Rosa launched GoodAI, contributing 10 million dollars of his own money to fund research into and the development of general artificial intelligence. Recently, he unveiled the company’s so-called Framework document and Roadmap outlining how the company hopes to achieve its goals within as little as 10 years. Can general AI be achieved? By which methods?
This weekend saw the return of Robotic Day in Prague, organised for the 13th time by the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University. Teams, largely of students from either university or high school, who registered to compete, tested their designs in various competitions with colourful names like Bear Rescue and Ketchup House. Most importantly Sunday of the two-day event was open to the public, for anyone interested in seeing some of the robots for themselves.
Prague recently saw the return of robots in Café Neu Romance, an annual festival held at the National Technical Library celebrating robots and artistic performance. I met with the festival’s founder Christian Gjørret to discuss how this year’s edition went and have him explain what it was all about.