Publication date: 
2022/09/19
The two-day meeting of leading Czech and French researchers, developers and entrepreneurs focused on strategically important areas of artificial intelligence was opened by Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský on Monday 12 September 2022 at the Czernin Palace. The event was the result of several years of effort by an international team consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the French Embassy in Prague, the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC CTU) and the French Institute Inria.

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One of the objectives of the Czech-French strategic partnership is cooperation in favour of innovation and support for start-ups. Prague and Paris also support the joint efforts of EU countries that want to be among the global leaders in the use of advanced digital technologies. The theme of the workshop was therefore, among other things, the use of artificial intelligence in line with open competition, preserving the protection of individuals and for the benefit of society. Speakers also addressed regulatory and ethical issues and the effective management of applied research for the needs of government, the private sector and the public.

"Digital applications help us modernise the industry and create attractive job opportunities. Artificial intelligence is helping to improve our daily lives, for example in precision medicine, education, smart city and municipal governance and environmental protection. In line with the objectives of the Czech-French Strategic Partnership, we want to support small and medium-sized technology companies and start-ups in particular," said Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský.

Artificial intelligence has significant transformative potential with broad social, economic, national security and geopolitical implications, but it also brings significant challenges. "To tackle them, we have adopted national strategies in line with the EU's approach to AI, and during the French and Czech presidencies of the EU Council, we have taken responsibility for supporting our European sovereignty and the EU legal framework with an ecosystem of trust and excellence for AI: this requires a risk-based approach to AI applications and the promotion of innovation and skills," pointed out H.E. Alexis Dutertre, Ambassador of France to the Czech Republic, adding: "The workshop contributes to achieving this goal by fostering the strengthening of Czech-French cooperation and thus paving the way for further partnerships within the EU."

"We have wanted to organise a Czech-French workshop on artificial intelligence for a long time, not only because of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council. We wanted to show what has already been achieved and at the same time initiate new collaborations. For example, CIIRC CTU cooperates very intensively with French institutions. We are creating great opportunities and our scientists are working on truly cutting-edge research. And on the other hand - we are a reliable partner that delivers results and enriches the research of foreign partners. I believe that today's meeting will also give a new impetus to the implementation of a number of ideas and goals that have been so far only on paper in the form of the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence," added Professor Vladimír Mařík, Scientific Director of the CIIRC CTU.

"Our long-term cooperation with the Inria Institute and other centres shows how valuable the possibility of involving our scientists in cutting-edge research at a truly European, but also global level is," said Josef Šivic, an expert in computer vision and machine learning, who leads the IMPACT and ELISE projects at CIIRC CTU, manages the ELLIS Prague research branch, and is the chairman of the AICzechia initiative. "The workshop was also a great opportunity to show that in the Czech Republic we are doing cutting-edge science in artificial intelligence with the potential for global impact."

The two-day meeting was jointly prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of France in Prague, the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (INRIA) and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC CTU).  The event featured a number of leading Czech and French researchers in key areas of AI and innovative entrepreneurs. The event was supported by a broad ecosystem of European institutions, projects and networks focused on AI: Paris AI Research Institute (PRAIRIE), the Research and Innovation Centre for Advanced Industrial Production (RICAIP), the European AI Centres of Excellence projects VISION and ELISE, as well as funding from the IMPACT machine perception project .

Contact person: 
Name: 
Ing. Mgr. Eva Doležalová
E-mail: 
eva.dolezalova@cvut.cz
Department: 
Český institut informatiky, robotiky a kybernetiky