Artificial intelligence in the near future will fundamentally affect people's lives like no other technology. Its responsible development is therefore a key priority for the European Union, the Czech Republic and academia. Therefore, by signing a memorandum, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Charles University and Masaryk University have launched a project to build a European Center of Excellence in the field of artificial intelligence for a safer society. It develops the national theme and fulfills the National AI Strategy (NAIS) adopted last year.
“We want to create the best conditions for our existing artificial intelligence research and build a transnational platform that will engage in the challenges of the European artificial intelligence ecosystem. The key to us is keeping and attracting talent, promoting our best results, and last but not least, the social dimension, ”says Vojtěch Petráček, Rector of CTU. The European Commission envisages the creation of European Centers of Excellence, which it intends to link and coordinate into networks with a specific focus. The project launched today is to focus on AI and security issues, in which Czech research and development excels in the long term and to connect with other similarly focused centers in the EU.
According to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and Trade and Transport Minister Karel Havlíček, the Czech Republic is the world leader in artificial intelligence. “And in the spirit of the national economic vision of the Czech Republic: The Country for the Future, we are doing everything to ensure that the national theme" Artificial Intelligence for a Secure Society "is fulfilled and the work of our skilful scientists, researchers and developers improves the life of society. It had practical application and helped where possible and appropriate. This is precisely what the European Center of Excellence is supporting, which we support all the more at the Ministry of Industry and Trade because our leading universities have joined forces, ”added Minister Karel Havlíček.
“We expect this initiative to further strengthen the position of our research universities in European excellence research. For example, in cybersecurity, we are at the absolute top in Europe thanks to our unique combination of excellent research in technical and social sciences. I am sure that in cooperation between Czech research universities and the government that we have agreed today, we are able to achieve the same position in the field of autonomous technologies that can serve or become a threat to the safe exercise of human rights. I am sure that in cooperation between Czech research universities and the government we have agreed today, we are able to address this issue for a free and secure society, ”says Radim Polčák, Vice-Rector for Legislation, Information Technology and Corporate Relations at Masaryk University.
“The combination of the strengths of top Czech research universities and the establishment of the European Center of Excellence creates the best possible conditions not only for the development of our science and research in the field of new technologies, but also for the transfer of knowledge into practice. It is important for the Czech Republic to keep pace with international competition in the area of artificial intelligence development, ”said Tomáš Zima, Rector of Charles University.
The foundation of the emerging center is a consortium of universities, which is planned to expand to include foreign partners to create a transnational-regional European Center of Excellence. The three pillars to support and support excellence in AI and security research are to be a communication office for information sharing primarily from the EU and a platform for research on the legal, ethical, economic and social impacts of artificial intelligence in general. The heart of the project is the so-called non-specific support for advanced research, modeled on the American DARPA agency, which is to complement existing grant and project support. The Center will co-ordinate and facilitate the building of infrastructure, technology transfer into practice and cooperation with the private, especially business, sector.