On Thursday, June 18th, 2020, CzechInvest and the Czech Embassy in Tokyo hosted a webinar for the Japanese public, which focused on new technologies in the field of artificial intelligence developed in the countries of Central Europe. The event was attended, among others, by Naokazu Takemoto, Japanese State Minister for Science and Technology.
Among the Czech speakers was Martin Tlapa, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. In his speech, Mr. Tlapa mentioned the importance of the economic relations between Japan and the countries of Central Europe, as well as the 100-year anniversary of the invention of the word ‘robot’ by Karel Čapek, a Czech writer. Martin Tomčo, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Japan, then spoke about the importance of new technologies in Japanese society, as exemplified by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In his remarks, Naokazu Takemoto, Japanese State Minister for Science and Technology, discussed the main pillars of the Japanese government’s artificial intelligence strategy. He described the current Japanese approach as focused on striking the right balance between the development of beneficial technologies – as needed in the fields of medicine, mobility or industrial production – and an increasing need for cybersecurity, privacy protection and job preservation. Mr. Takemoto also mentioned the newly created AI Japan R&D Network – a network of universities and public research organizations, which is currently instrumental in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as researching a cure for the disease.
The future of artificial intelligence as seen by a top Czech scientist from Silicon Valley
Tomáš Mikolov dedicated his presentation to the Czech contribution to deep learning, a method of machine learning with great significance for speech recognition, language modelling and natural language processing. Dr. Mikolov considers deep learning – which led to, among others, a leap improvement of Google Translate – to be the main component of artificial intelligence.
Having gathered valuable experience while working on artificial intelligence for America’s Google and Facebook, Dr. Mikolov has recently returned to the Czech Republic. There, he will head a team for complex artificial intelligence development at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics.
The Hungarian speaker, Péter Galambos, director of the Antal Bejczy Center for Intelligent Robotics at the Budapest Óbuda University, spoke about the many subfields of artificial intelligence and robotics researched by the experts at his center and treated the webinar participants to a virtual reality tour of its laboratories. Dr. Galambos considers today’s biggest technological challenges to be the integration of artificial intelligence with advanced mechatronics, as well as the cloud outsourcing of the robots’ computational capabilities.
The presentation by Robert Kroplewski, representative of the Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs, focused on the creation of a cross-border data-sharing ecosystem. When designing such system, Polish experts realized the many different approaches to the ethics and regulation of digital technologies. Therefore, they came up with the suggestion to create a new diplomatic environment for the regulation of information and digital technologies.
Mária Bieliková, president of the Slovak.AI platform, concluded the webinar with a presentation of successful cases of artificial intelligence technologies created in Slovakia. She also discussed the results of a survey concerning the perception of these technologies by local companies.
More than 150 viewers attended the webinar. The event was supported and co-organized by the Embassy of Hungary in Tokyo, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tokyo, the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Tokyo, the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Japan Overseas Investment, JETRO, the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Co-operation, the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the Enterprise Europe Network.