11th TIME Economic Forum in Warsaw
A panel discussion on artificial intelligence in industry, with the participation of – among others – Olaf Gajl, the Director of the National Information Processing Institute, closed the first day of the 11th TIME Economic Forum in Warsaw. This year’s edition, devoted to industry 4.0 and 5G networks, was held on 4-5 March, 2019.
During the last Monday’s session, the panelists talked about the chances and challenges associated with artificial intelligence application on the Polish market. The discussion was conducted by Piotr Mieczkowski from the Digital Poland Foundation which has published a report called ”Map of the Polish AI” at the end of January, 2019.
Director Gajl noted, that Poland is still not ready for the adoption of solutions offered by the artificial intelligence technology. In this situation educating the entrepreneurs so they understood the benefits stemming from the application of the new tools better is the most significant.
He also pointed out to the problem concerning education of specialists in the field of AI:
- If a young adjunct can earn 8-10 times more in a private company than at a university, then he will try to be employed at least on a 3/4 time basis in a place which will give him a decent income. In effect, he will have less time to focus on students.
The panelists agreed that the demand for AI among entrepreneurs in Poland is still small. They acknowledged however that the interest in certain AI applications, e.g. deep analytics in production, is rising. Lack of data yet remains a problem.
According to Borys Stokalski, the President of Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications (PIIT), many initiatives devoted to artificial intelligence in Poland take place outside of the official education system. The popularity of AI meet-ups proves that there is an increased need among programmers to exchange information in that field.
- Implementation of innovations in national enterprises is difficult because a person introducing innovative solutions will be held accountable for the investment, if it’s good or not – doctor Gajl remarked, adding that the biggest problem of the Polish market is overcautiousness and the fear of failure. - In such an ecosystem, not many stakeholders are ready to take the risk.
If we want start-ups to grow, we need to test their ideas in practice – the panelists acknowledged. That is why state-owned companies should boost their investment in new technologies. Artificial intelligence has vast potential in the energy sector and mining industry.
The cooperation of business and science world is equally important. For working on artificial intelligence is not about coming up with gadgets but about an interdisciplinary development of technology.