Czech Centre London
AI Science Café Series 2020: Chronorobotics - enabling robots to adapt to changing environments. With Tomáš Krajník

AI Science Café Series 2020: Chronorobotics - enabling robots to adapt to changing environments. With Tomáš Krajník

November 25, 2020

A live stream from Prague with Tomáš Krajník, Chaired by Michael Londesborough on Chronorobotics - enabling robots to adapt to changing environments. 
18 November 2020, 6 pm BST
More at https://bit.ly/3l3LvsE

For efficient long-term operation, robots need to adapt to the changes characteristic of natural and human-populated environments. We will present methods which enable robots to build and maintain spatio-temporal models of environmental dynamics and predict the future states of the environment they operate in. We will demonstrate how these capabilities contribute to the lifelong learning of socially intelligent behaviours, improve the efficiency of robot operation and increase their acceptance by the people they work with. We will focus on human-centric representations of time, and methods which can introduce the notion of dynamics to the environmental models used by state-of-the-art robots.

The discussion after the presentation is chaired by Dr. Michael Londesborough.

Tomáš Krajník works in the mobile robotics domain with a particular focus on long-term mobile robot navigation in changing environments. He has proposed several methods of representing the uncertainty of changing environments leading to the gradual improvement of mobile robot efficiency over time. He has designed and implemented software libraries for reliable visual navigation and tracking, which have been used by the roboticists of NASA, EPFL, KIT, AIT and many others. He actively cooperates with several UK universities and industries as well as with research institutes across the globe.

He also contributed to the success of the Czech Technical University team during the most prestigious international robotics competitions - earlier this year their drones and robots won two gold and one silver medal at MBZIRC (The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge) and at the same time Tomáš Krajník’s students from the Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems earned the highest score among self-funded teams and ranked third overall at the DARPA SubT Challenge, (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) where they demonstrated a multirobotic system for searching the areas affected by a theoretical disaster. 

Michael Londesborough is a British scientist working at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, where he focuses on research into boron compounds. He has won three prizes for Czech / Slovak young inorganic chemists, collaborates on projects with the British Council in Prague and on popularization projects for the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Television and the National Technical Museum. He focuses on making science accessible to the general public, teaching young people, and strengthening international relations between young scientists (FameLab competition). In 2009 the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic awarded him the Vojtěch Náprstek Medal for popularizing science.
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Part of the AI SCIENCE CAFÉ SERIES 2020 - http://london.czechcentres.cz/programme/travel-events/ai-science-cafe-series-2020/
Artificial Intelligence is the new phenomenon of the 21st century and has evolved out of the realm of science fiction and at best, a few technologically advanced minds and IT professionals, to everyday topics of discussion and one of the key drivers of the future progress of humankind. The objective of the  AI Science Café series, which will consist of five presentations by high profile, world acclaimed experts, is to introduce, present and publicly discuss various topics that impact our professional as well as our personal lives. As AI topics clearly generate more questions than answers, the series will strive to unveil trends and expectations from the inevitable social and technological changes which the future will bring.

Part of the SCIENCE CAFÉ SERIES - http://london.czechcentres.cz/programme/travel-events/science-cafe6/
Science Café is a series of popular science presentations and talks by the best Czech scientists and innovators of today presented by the Czech Centre London. Inspired by the phenomenon of Cafe Scientifique which was first established in the UK in 1998 and spread across the world as a place where anyone could come to discuss the latest ideas in science and technology over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, Science Café is an informal forum for the discussion of current work and interesting scientific issues.  

An interview with the head of Czech Centre London, Přemysl Pela on the occasion of the 24th edition of Made in Prague On/Off Festival

An interview with the head of Czech Centre London, Přemysl Pela on the occasion of the 24th edition of Made in Prague On/Off Festival

November 17, 2020

Listen to an interview with the head of Czech Centre London, Přemysl Pela for Radio Prague International on the occasion of the 24th edition of Made in Prague On/Off Festival

The Made in Prague On/Off Festival presents for its 24th edition a hybrid festival moving between an online and offline presence, delivering both virtual and physical events and bringing Czech films, visual arts, music and debates to the UK audience. Opening with the UK premiere of Havel, a brand new biopic about the charismatic playwright turned president, six virtual film premieres portray great Czechs who have helped to shape Czech society and culture. Krištof Kintera’s The End of Fun! is a timely exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham while in London emerging artists Andrea Vytlačilová & Josef Zlamal exhibit at the Czech Centre’s Vitrinka Gallery, and the Gossamer Fog Gallery will host the Jiří Chalupecký Award Winner, Matyáš Chochola, - all representatives of the vibrant Czech visual art scene. For the closing gala the festival partners with Rich Mix for a live stream of intricate electronic music and dizzying visuals from Central Europe, Electronica: Vision of Sound II.

For more information please visit our website here: https://bit.ly/MadeInPrague2020

AI Science Café Series 2020: Conversational AI. With Jan Šedivý

AI Science Café Series 2020: Conversational AI. With Jan Šedivý

October 21, 2020

A live stream from Prague with Jan ŠedivýChaired by Michael Londesborough on Conversational AI.
Wednesday 14 Oct 2020, 6 pm BST
More at https://bit.ly/33UW9N0

Intelligent speakers are now paving the way in the AI scene. Alquist, a social chatbot designed by the Czech Technical University team of students under the leadership of Jan Šedivý, has won two second places and one third place in a row in the Amazon Alexa Prize competition, while beating more than a hundred international academic teams. Jan briefly reviews the competition and its primary motivations but his main focus is on the Alquist team’s expertise, which embraces several disciplines, such as Conversational AI, Dialogue Management, Linguistics, Audio design, Creative writing, and many more. Šedivý  also explains the development of the dialogues for favourite conversational topics. Finally he discusses the plans of how to turn Alquist into a product.

Part of AI Science Café Series 2020 - https://bit.ly/3ocOVvS 

Alena Mornštajnová: Hana

Alena Mornštajnová: Hana

September 30, 2020

In our new episode, a critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Alena Mornštajnová talks to Julia Sherwood, a renowned translator, about her gripping novel HANA, which has won the Czech Book Award 2017 and has been translated into over a dozen languages across the world. The book is coming to English readers thanks to Parthian Books on 1 October 2020.

Based on real events and set in Mornštajnová’s native town Valašské Meziříčí, it tells a story of nine-year-old Mira and her aunt Hana.

It’s 1954 and nine-year-old Mira’s life is about to change forever. After a typhoid outbreak rages through her town, robbing her of her parents and siblings, the orphaned child is forced to live with her mysterious, depressive aunt Hana, a figure both frightening and fragile. Gradually, Mira uncovers the secrets of their troubled family history and begins to understand why her aunt is so incapable of trusting herself and the world around her.

Deftly weaving two separate timelines, the harrowing reasons behind Hana’s reclusive way of life, the guilt she wears as palpably as a cloak, and the tattoo on her wrist, are revealed to Mira.

Alena Mornštajnová is a teacher of English and translator and author of five successful novels. Her most recent novel, Tiché roky (Years of Silence, 2019), has confirmed her position as a critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist with more than 400,000 copies of her books sold in the Czech Republic alone. Rights for her most successful novel Hana have been sold to thirteen countries: United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Latvia, Syria and Greece.

Julia Sherwood is a freelance translator from Slovak, Czech, Polish, Russian and German into English (with Peter Sherwood), as well as into Slovak. In addition to book-length publications, her work has appeared in Two Lines, BODY. Literature, The Missing Slate, Words Without Borders, OpenDemocracy, Eurozine, Aspen Review and salon.eu.sk. She is editor-at-large for Slovakia for Asymptote, the international online literary journal, administers the group Slovak Literature in English Translation and co-curates the website SlovakLiterature.Com. 

More info

OVERTHINKING: THOUGHT PROVOKING INTERVIEWS ON EUROPE, CULTURE AND OUR FUTURE

OVERTHINKING: THOUGHT PROVOKING INTERVIEWS ON EUROPE, CULTURE AND OUR FUTURE

June 24, 2020

An interview with Jiří Přibáň opens the Czech Centres’ podcast series with leading Czech personalities living in various European countries reflecting on social, economic and political changes during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. There are many issues to be addressed such as how the pandemic will change our lives, will Europe as we know it survive, how culture will cope with the economic downturn and much more.

Jiří Přibáň is a Professor of Law at Cardiff University, UK. He graduated from Charles University in Prague (1989) where he was appointed professor of legal theory, philosophy and sociology in 2002. He was also visiting professor or scholar at various universities across the world, including European University Institute in Florence, University of California in Berkeley, the University of Pretoria and University of New South Wales, Sydney. Jiří Přibáň has published extensively in the areas of social theory and sociology of law, legal philosophy, constitutional and European comparative law, and theory of human rights. He is an editor of the Journal of Law and Society and a regular contributor to the Czech and international media.

Global Science Café: Pandemic and other Challenges. With Josef Průša. Chaired by Guy Borg

Global Science Café: Pandemic and other Challenges. With Josef Průša. Chaired by Guy Borg

May 28, 2020

A live stream from Prague with With Josef Průša, Chaired by Guy Borg on Pandemic and other Challenges.
Thursday 21 May 2020, 5 pm BST
More at
https://bit.ly/36CKbHi

As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the main focuses has been to enhance additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3-D printing, as a way to help provide as many medical supplies as possible, especially personal protective equipment (PPE). In terms of global efforts, Prusa Research, a Czech company and the world’s second-largest manufacturer of 3-D printers, is playing a significant role in this process. Tune into our online Global Science Café with Josef Průša to learn more!

With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the Prusa Research company is actively involved in producing protective face shields using the 3-D printing technique. The open-source 3D printing code has been provided free of charge to the entire 3D global printing community. Moreover, Prusa Research has donated thousands of protective shields to hospitals, general practitioners, emergency departments, orthodontists, pharmacies, police forces, teachers and other professionals around the world.

Josef Průša, born in Havlíčkův Brod in 1990, is a 3-D printer developer and owner of Prusa Research. He was a student of Applied Informatics at the University of Economics, Prague, and started designing 3-D printers when he was 19. After having built his first 3-D printer in 2012 under the name “Prusa Mendel”, he founded the Prusa Research company, and thereby introduced the world of 3-D printing to a much wider public. His business was built upon the RepRap project (short for replicating rapid prototyper) – an open-source desktop 3-D printer that is capable of partial self-replication. At present, Josef Průša gives public lectures on 3-D printing and open-source hardware. He also teaches Arduino at Prague’s Charles University.

Part of the GLOBAL SCIENCE CAFÉ SERIES Global Science Café is a series of popular science presentations and talks by the best Czech scientists, innovators, economists and other notable figures of today presented by the Czech Centres around the world. It is basically an informal forum for the discussion of various scientific and social issues. All events are currently held online and their content is being shared within the network.

#czechculturetotheworld

Science Café: FreMEn - How to join the fight against the Coronavirus

Science Café: FreMEn - How to join the fight against the Coronavirus

April 27, 2020

How to minimise people’s potential exposure to the COVID-19 infection? Listen into our online Science Café with Tomas Krajnik to learn more information!

Tomáš Krajník and his team from Czech Technical University (CTU) is developing an app which forecasts the density of people in public areas. Based on the data, you can then plan your visits or journeys accordingly and schedule necessary trips to supermarkets or pharmacies, for instance, for later.

All of this while respecting privacy of the users as the app is built on crowd-sourced anonymous data and also while taking to account local customs and patterns of human behaviour.

The Czech project combines principles known in medical science, artificial intelligence and chronorobotics. Krajnik and his team works with spatio-temporal models which can predict future people’s densities at various locations with epidemiologic models which can estimate the transmission and exposure risks. The resulting method will be able to predict the future risk of virus exposure at different locations and times, allowing the public to avoid these areas. This will lead to reduction of the risk of individual exposure and subsequently, to the reduction of the spread of the virus.

Limiting direct contact between people and large-scale testing is so far the only efficient measure to curb the outbreak. However, drastic approaches like city lockdowns, travel bans, school and office closures, cannot be in effect indefinitely, as they would result in an economic breakdown. Furthermore, the effects of the long-term isolation on the human behaviour and mental health of the population could be severe.

This new tool could potentially influence human behaviour so that the techniques of social distancing are efficient, sensitive and balance the exposure risk, individual welfare, social health, and economic efficiency.

More at: https://bit.ly/2VHo0Mn

AI Science Café Series 2020: Mobility - is autonomous driving an answer to reducing traffic congestion in our cities? With Michal Čáp

AI Science Café Series 2020: Mobility - is autonomous driving an answer to reducing traffic congestion in our cities? With Michal Čáp

April 14, 2020

Cities are overly congested with traffic and pollution. At present the most widely discussed solution is urban on-demand mobility based self-driving technology. The envisioned automated mobility-on-demand (AMoD) systems employ a centrally-controlled fleet of self-driving vehicles to provide on-demand point-to-point transportation to the users of the system. Such systems promise to revolutionise user behaviour and significantly improve the efficiency of urban transportation. As a case study, Michal Čáp discusses and quantify the potential for car-sharing and ride-sharing to reduce the number of vehicles in the city of Prague, its application to other cities around the world and the implications for policy making.

Michal Pěchouček on  Personal security in the age of AI.

Michal Pěchouček on Personal security in the age of AI.

April 14, 2020

We're bringing you an interview with the Chief Technology Officer at Avast Michal Pěchouček, recorded as part of our AI SCIENCE CAFÉ SERIES 2020.  

Michal Pěchouček leads the core technology and R&D teams and is also responsible for Avast’s scientific research in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity. He also lectures at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague and leads the Artificial Intelligence Centre which he founded in 2001. He has co-founded several technology start-ups, including Cognitive Security, AgentFly Technologies and Blindspot Solutions.

The objective of the AI Science Café series consists of five presentations by high profile, world acclaimed experts, is to introduce, present and publicly discuss various topics that impact our professional as well as our personal lives - https://bit.ly/2xtYnW0

 

AI Science Café Series 2020: Personal security in the age of AI. With Michal Pěchouček

AI Science Café Series 2020: Personal security in the age of AI. With Michal Pěchouček

April 12, 2020

Due to the complexities and related risks provided by the ubiquitous deployment of AI there is an ever increasing need to provide users with security and privacy, while living online and surrounded by connected devices. Michal Pěchouček debates the current and future role of #AI, namely machine learning and game theory, AI-enabled cybersecurity problems and how AI can help to increase user privacy and safety from AI algorithms both online and in the physical world.

 

 

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