A team of students from the Czech Technical University in Prague have placed second in the prestigious Alexa Prize contest, organised by the US giant Amazon. The aim of the competition is to develop artificial intelligence for Amazon Alexa, capable of chatting with people on popular topics such as movies, sports or music. Along with the prize, the Czech team also picked up a financial award of 100,000 US dollars.
A joint effort by two Czech universities claims to have developed the most accurate plant image recognition system in the world. Able to identify thousands of different kinds of plants and mushrooms, the software has already won three international competitions, beating human experts in the process.
Artificial intelligence is sometimes referred to as the new oil and is seen as one of the main drivers of economic growth in the decades going forward. For the Czech Republic, the most industrialised of all European Union countries, there are clearly a lot of challenges as one of the main elements of the so-called AI revolution will be the increased use of robots and machines effectively learning on the job and from each other.
Experts from the Institute of Physics at the Czech Academy of Sciences recently made headlines with groundbreaking research in which they uncovered a method for data entry and storage in computing that is considerably faster than what is available at present. The team was able to prove that Spintronics based on antiferromagnets could enter data 1000 times faster than in common memory media. Their findings made a splash within the scientific community and it's easy to see why: it has the potential to fundamentally change computing years down the
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.
This Wednesday saw a conference in Prague called I, Robot, (Já, robot) bringing together researchers in both the public and private spheres to debate advances in robotics and artificial intelligence. One of the participants was Olga Afanasyeva, the COO of the Prague-based start-up GoodAI, which has been profiled by publications like The Economist, Forbes and also Radio Prague. Much of the discussion focussed on the future “just around the corner” or already here.
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
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.
Czech scientists have made the cover of the prestigious Science magazine with their discovery of a unique method determining the structure of nanocrystals. The new findings can have an important impact on scientific fields such as pharmaceuticals, synthetic chemistry, or the development of new materials. Lukáš Palatinus of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who was the head of the research team, told me more about the discovery: