As part of a technology mission organised by CzechInvest in the last week of September, representatives of ten Czech research institutes and firms active in the area of artificial intelligence visited four Canadian cities that are among the most important AI centres not only in Canada, but in the world. Representatives of the Czech Technical University in Prague, Brno University of Technology, the Technical University of Ostrava, the Technical University of Liberec, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the firms Unico, Recombee, Blindspot Solutions and Avast took part in nearly twenty meetings with their counterparts from Canadian universities, research institutes, firms, start-ups and incubators. The members of the delegation gained knowledge of the artificial-intelligence ecosystem in Canada, as well as its financing and main trends.
On 27-28 September 2018, they participated in a specialist symposium at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where they presented successes of Czech research and discussed the use of artificial intelligence in various sectors such as transport, agriculture, robotics and energy.
“The mission showed the two countries have a lot of common themes in this area. Though the results of Czech research in the field of artificial intelligence are by no means negligible in comparison with those of the Canadians, this topic receives far more attention in Canada. However, Prague and Brno, for example, produce many more graduates in AI-related fields than, say, Montreal, the headquarters of the Canadian AI supercluster,” says Eva Jungmannová of CzechInvest.
Specifically, a great deal of attention is now being focused in Edmonton on the development of machine learning in the gaming industry. For example, the DeepStack programme, which was developed by Professor Michael Bowling’s team composed of students from the University of Alberta, the Czech Technical University and the Charles University Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, has defeated professional poker players. Czech scientists are also working at Google DeepMind in Edmonton.
“The talks initiated during this mission could lead to the exchange of students and professors, as well as cooperation on future research projects,” says Jungmannová.