The Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence will be established under SZTAKI leadership

Dr. László Palkovics, Hungary's Minister for Innovation and Technology has announced at the Infotér (Info Space) Conference that in 2020 the Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence will be established under the leadership of SZTAKI. The Centre will be formed by the Hungarian AI Coalition created in the frame of the Digital Welfare Programme (DJP). SZTAKI will be its leader, the members come from the research institutes and institutions of higher education.

The main task of the new Centre of Excellence (AI National Lab) will be to organise and coordinate the basic and applied research work in AI, either already in progress or to be initiated soon. By its participation in the joint work of the European Centres of Excellence, it will be also part of the international AI research cooperation and will contribute to the AI education and AI-based developments as well.

László Monostori, Director of SZTAKI declared at the inauguration of the Centre that “its goals show significant concurrence with SZTAKI’s mission saying that »relying on its strong – and characteristically focused – basic research activities, MTA SZTAKI generates new results while utilising a framework of widespread domestic and international cooperation, and facilitates their applications to the benefit of the sustainable development of the economy and society, and, at the same time, avails in its fields of activity to preserve and, as far as possible, to raise the Hungarian scientific-technical culture to a higher level.« Therefore, he added, SZTAKI looks forward to participating in the AI National Lab considering its traditions and achievements in the AI research and its application.”

A National AI strategy will be elaborated

“Hungary stands today at the entrance of a change in the economic dimension, promising that the work-based economy may turn into a knowledge-based economy. Part of this change is the preparation to the widespread dissemination of AI, which helped the 200-member strong AI Coalition to produce in one year an AI action plan” – Minister Palkovics said at the conference.

The primary aim of the action plan is to catalyse a breakthrough in the societal awareness of AI. The AI Coalition, therefore, announces the AI Challenge, a programme following the Scandinavian example, the goal of which is to enable that, by the end of 2020, at least one hundred thousand Hungarians could complete a basic AI course. Besides the online training, a permanent exhibition in the topic will be set up in the Palace of Wonders. The Coalition endeavours also to approach at least one million people with the message that AI is not something to be afraid of, but a technology ubiquitously present in the everyday life of all us that can be and should be harnessed to our benefits by making appropriate economic and social efforts together. 

Data market places are in the making, the control of managing the data wealth is on the horizon

The key element in the new package of measures is the definition of the organisational network of the AI ecosystem that is relying on both the AI National Lab led by SZTAKI and the AI Coalition. The Centre of Excellence coordinates first of all the basic and applied research focusing on artificial intelligence, whereas the AI Coalition performs besides the activities of organising the market and informing the public, a brokerage function to build and manage the ecosystem and offer AI trainings.

Dr. Palkovics has also divulged that a GDPR compatible data market platform will be set up to handle all data, not related to individuals, but being created in the government and private spheres. A National Data Wealth Agency will be established that works out the conditions of its utilization, identifies the interested actors and facilitates the development and operation of the data market.

In addition to this, by spring 2020, anonymized public data not related to individuals will be made searchable. The new Act for the data wealth is also under preparation, in compliance with the objectives of the strategic framework of DJP 2030.

The national AI strategy is being prepared in workshops organised by industry sectors, where the AI Coalition defines the focus areas relevant for Hungary to become a frontrunner by world market standards.