A platform for artificial intelligence Brno.ai is being created in Brno
An autonomous car, receptionist, applications for the blind, but also voice recognition, virtual power plant or coronavirus medicine development - artificial intelligence has its place everywhere. And its greater use in practical life was aimed at Brno experts in the field of artificial intelligence, who on Thursday presented a common platform Brno.ai. It is supported not only by experts from the Brno University of Technology and Masaryk University but also by representatives of IT companies, the South Moravian Region, the city of Brno or the JIC innovation agency.
"Brno offers great conditions for the creation of internationally successful projects in the field of artificial intelligence," Petr Chládek, the director of the innovation agency JIC, which is in charge of launching the platform, says and adds: "Quality university IT workplaces operate side by side here, successful startups and companies such as Phonexia or Artin, as well as corporations such as Honeywell or Red Hat,“ According to the platform coordinator Jan Bárta, the individual entities will be closer to each other, which will allow them to better cooperate on currently needed projects. According to him, the platform plans, for example, regular events at which professionals and company managers will meet and imagine each other's work and look for the space for cooperation. "In the online test mode, we started with meetups at the end of last year. The interest was huge - more than a hundred experts from Brno companies and universities applied for the first event,“ Bárta notes.
Brno already has several top companies that have made their way in the field of artificial intelligence. BUT, for example, gave rise to the globally successful Phonexia specializing in speech analysis and voice biometrics. The autonomous Bringauto, developed by specialists from the Artin company, also has test drives. Kinalisoft, in turn, supplies a production quality controller with artificial intelligence. "We believe that the platform where the experts will meet will contribute to the number of similarly successful companies and so that Brno - and not only it - gets on the world AI map. It has the potential for that,” Bárta adds, adding that the platform also counts on cooperation with other regions, including Prague and its prg.ai platform.
According to the Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology, BUT Pavel Zemčík, a similar platform will help the development of AI in Brno: “Our researchers have been introducing artificial intelligence to the real world for a long time, both in cooperation with industry and in a number of research and innovation projects. However, the new common platform is very important for the whole region - I believe that sharing know-how, practical experience and opportunities will help place Brno and the South Moravian Region more firmly on the AI world map.” Professor Antonín Kučera from the Faculty of Information Technologies at Masaryk University takes the creation of the platform similarly: “AI is gradually penetrating all scientific disciplines and a number of research groups at Masaryk University are using or actively developing artificial intelligence tools. The new platform should help us make it all more efficient and also bring scientific research closer to industrial practice."
The creation of the platform was also supported by the city of Brno and the South Moravian Region. "Artificial intelligence is one of the most promising fields in science, research and business practice in general. That is why we want to be there and help these areas - often travelling on their own tracks and not communicating with each other - to functionally connect and start intensive communication between the individual participants. Last but not least, to demystify the field of AI towards the public and to show that it has strong benefits, not only threats," the regional councillor Jiří Hlavenka believes. The Deputy Mayor Tomáš Koláčný agrees with his words: "Artificial intelligence today finds rich application not only in futuristic, but also in everyday life situations, helps us, for example, with the automation of routine activities, with ensuring security - whether cybernetic, in the sense of establishing intelligent supervision of urban infrastructure, or personal, for example in the form of intelligent management or optimization of city transport. I believe that the field of artificial intelligence will become another pillar of the Brno IT sector."
Corporations that have their workplaces in Brno also contribute to the creation of the platform. One of them is, for example, Honeywell. According to Honeywell representative Tomáš Szaszi, there are many similar platforms in the world. However, few of them are said to grow out of a successfully functioning ecosystem that meets the preconditions for long-term functioning, which exists in South Moravia. "Brno.AI connects important components of the local ecosystem, such as universities, municipalities, startups and industry, in order to work together and thus accelerate the application of this technology in practice," concludes Szaszi.