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Lithuania’s AI Lab aims at making a leap in AI progress

Date

2020 12 10

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Lithuania is widely known as a global fintech hub, however its growing AI potential is hard to ignore with multiple AI startups emerging in recent years and a wide range of companies actively executing AI solutions. A country of roughly 2.5 million people currently hosts over 40 mature AI companies and 100 startups developing AI solutions. To further maximise Lithuania’s artificial intelligence potential, business and academia partnered at establishing country’s own AI Laboratory.

Win-win for all

Lithuanian AI Laboratory opened its doors this October at the Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies of the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Vilnius University. It is a result of cooperation between Vilnius University and a Lithuanian biometrics company “Neurotechnology”. 

The AI Laboratory will aim at fostering the practical application of knowledge by solving actual scientific and technological problems related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, automatization and robotics.

“The main idea behind this lab is to have a space for cooperation between young researchers and students with AI businesses. In Lithuania, very few companies can afford having a R&D department”, says Dr. Virginijus Marcinkevicius, Head of Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. 

According to Dr. Marcinkevicius, a creation of this laboratory is a win-win for both business and academia. Universities can provide skills and knowledge on-demand to analyze and solve specific problems or develop new prototypes, while business allows AI algorithms to reach people’s lives and and provides invaluable feedback to the academic community.

One of the first points on the Lab’s “to-do” list  is working towards establishing a wider network of companies interested in AI research that will provide problems and initial data for research and match-making them with bachelor, master and PhD students who can look for solutions to these problems. The Lab will also provide open lectures to businesses and students helping them to explore AI methods and opportunities.

Talents on the rise  

According to data collected by the Artificial Intelligence Association of Lithuania, the country is a home for over 300 seasoned AI professionals and around 1000 aspiring AI talents. 

Dr. Povilas Daniusis, an algorithm engineer at „Neurotechnology“, considers talents to be Lithuania‘s most precious national resource. He believes that AI Lab will help to discover and grow promising AI engineers and scientists.

„It will contribute to the progress of Lithuanian AI and serve as creative space for students, providing the required infrastructure for experiments. AI is not only vibrant and rapidly evolving field of computer science, but also one with huge and still undiscovered commercial potential”, says Dr. Daniusis. 

Gintas Kimtys, Head of the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology of Lithuania, says that AI is a field where a size of a country or its population doesn’t matter - everything depends upon growing talents and encouraging investment.

“If we invest in education, support the creation of new businesses and startups, prioritize and fund AI  – we have all the chances to make a breakthrough. Lithuania has a lot of potential in the domain of AI and, I believe, that such spaces as a newly opened AI Laboratory, significantly contribute to letting our AI talents share ideas, learn and thrive”, says G. Kimtys.