AI Connect participants visit the Microsoft Prague Development Center


From Tuesday, November 1 to Thursday, November 3, 2022, the third in-person AI Connect workshop convened in Prague, Czech Republic to focus on the AI policy ecosystem in Eastern Europe and the surrounding areas, as well as regional challenges and opportunities in modern tech applications. More than 15 participants from the AI Connect program joined innovators from the local tech and policy community to augment their knowledge of regionally specific AI problems and solutions, discuss best practices, and expand their networks of global policy and AI-focused professionals. 

The workshop was held at the NH Collection Prague Carlo IV hotel over 3 days and included sessions on AI civil society and global stakeholders, ethics in technological AI development and governance, and opportunities for international collaborative innovation. The event further featured a fireside chat with Ruth Berry, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Information and Communications Policy at the U.S. Department of State, and a keynote from Marek Havrda, Czech Government Deputy Minister for European Affairs. Six AI Connect participants presented case studies of AI applications being used in their countries, including electrocardiogram-assisted cardiovascular healthcare in Slovakia, agriculture mobile apps for Egyptian farmers, visual motion tracking for Lebanese students’ basketball performance, and natural language processing in Turkey.  

On Tuesday, workshop participants traveled offsite to the Microsoft Development Center in Prague to meet and hear from technical experts in the Prague community working directly in designing responsible AI resources from the earliest stages of the pipeline. On Thursday, an additional side trip to the Czech Technical University enabled participation in the international Society, Law, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (SOLAIR) Conference hosted by the Czech Academy of Sciences’ Institute of State and Law, this year titled “Artificial Intelligence for the Safer World.” AI Connect participants had the opportunity to hear from government speakers from the Czech Republic, the EU, Israel, and the United States, as well as others from academia and the tech industry. The conference’s organizers and AI Connect subsequently joined forces for a networking reception and gala dinner with local and regional AI and policy professionals.  

The next in-person workshop of the AI Connect program is tentatively planned to be held in Africa in early 2023 and will constitute the fourth and final in the series after India, Brazil, and the Czech Republic. 

Participant testimonials

  • Alžběta Krausová, Legal Scholar, Institute of State and Law of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Head of Regulatory Unit, Central European Digital Media Observatory, Czech Republic: “I have to say it was a very fruitful engagement—fun and both technical and legal—very interdisciplinary. All the discussions, including those at the SOLAIR Conference in the afternoon and the subsequent networking event in the evening, were quite useful.” 
  • Joe Tekli, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Lebanese American University (LAU), Lebanon: “We were able to work on practical use cases with colleagues. We got to know some very, very interesting people working in this area in different countries and in the region. All in all, it was a great experience.”