Hosting UNESCO's Artificial Intelligence Centre the greatest achievement of Slovenian science
According to Jernej Pikalo, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport of the outgoing government, the establishment of an international research centre for artificial intelligence, which will operate under the auspices of UNESCO and will be located in Ljubljana, is the greatest achievement of Slovenian science. This opportunity will benefit both the scientific and the economic sector.
In Mr Pikalo's opinion, UNESCO's decision to establish the first International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under its auspice in Ljubljana proves how high Slovenia can reach in niche fields.
Mr Pikalo emphasised that this will be a global centre, which will provide a basis for establishing other similar centres elsewhere in the world. Consequently, global development in this field will also be based on Slovenian experiences. "We are the first in this story of the greats. In this sense, we are the pioneers in the story of artificial intelligence," he added.
Slovenia has never received so many requests for participation as following UNESCO’s decision last year to establish the centre. Mr Pikalo highlighted that Slovenia can consider it an honour that the president of a very technologically advanced country also expressed great interest in the centre.
The Head of the Centre for Knowledge Transfer in Information Technologies at the Jožef Stefan Institute, Mitja Jermol, said that UNESCO proposed Slovenia to be the host of the AI centre because it recognised Slovenia's potential in the field of artificial intelligence. The founding contract for the research centre was signed on Thursday and the centre should be set up soon. At first, it will be hosted by the Jožef Stefan Institute and after approximately two years it will operate independently.
According to Mr Jermol, the centre has two pillars with regard to content. The first pillar includes the research of artificial intelligence in a broader social aspect, while the second addresses the question of how artificial intelligence can help solve global challenges. "This is not only about technology," he emphasised.
One of the purposes of the centre is to provide an open and transparent environment which, in addition to research and discussions on artificial intelligence, will also provide political support to stakeholders around the world in the drafting of guidelines and action plans concerning artificial intelligence.