Will Lithuania become one of the world leaders in artificial intelligence?

  • 2021-11-25

Last week international two-day artificial intelligence conference "AI Boost 2021" took everyone by storm. More than 60 AI experts from around the world shared their insights on AI from various perspectives - business, technology, science and consumer points of view were explored, and many great minds tried to answer questions about how companies and organizations can benefit from AI. Almost 1000 participants tuned in to hear valuable keynotes and panel discussions, explore opportunities to make new connections. AI Boost 2021 conference was streamed live from Vilnius, Lithuania, building on country’s profile as technology hotspot.

New opportunities for Lithuania

The field of artificial intelligence is growing rapidly world-wide. It is predicted that in the nearest future it will take up a significant proportion of our economies. The United States, China and the European Union are already competing for leadership in the artificial intelligence space. The Baltic States and Lithuania are not lagging behind – over the last few years, there has been an exponential growth of AI ecosystem and community in the country. It is calculated, that more than 40 globally recognized AI products and services have been developed by Lithuanian and foreign capital companies here. Additionally, almost 100 startups in Lithuania are building AI products at the moment – AI has definitely taken Lithuania by storm. Lithuanian AI start-ups have stood out in the international artificial intelligence competitions, such as Kaggle, the Apple Design Award and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology's most innovative start-up competition.

According to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Ms Ingrida Šimonytė, artificial intelligence is changing the way we design products, provide services or manage organizations, and this could be our key to a higher value-added economy and global business competitiveness.

“Will AI be a game exclusively played by big economies like the EU, the U.S. and China and by big companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon? Or will faster small countries and startups overtake the slower giants? Only the future will provide us answers to these questions, but one thing we know already is that if you want to enter this game, you need to buy a ticket. And the ticket is education and data.” says Ms Ingrida Šimonytė. According to her, this is where investments will be aimed at, and artificial intelligence will become an important part of Lithuania's 2050 vision.

Lithuania's vision is to be open to co-creation: to openly share its knowledge world-wide and bring global experience here. According to the Minister of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania Ms Aušrinė Armonaitė, artificial intelligence is no longer just a distant vision. "Artificial intelligence is no longer the future, it is the reality of today. Companies are increasingly using artificial intelligence solutions to optimize business and manufacturing processes. Lithuania has a potential for the development of artificial intelligence solutions and we must have a clear vision in which direction we will move in this area.” says Ms Aušrinė. Armonaitė. According to her, events such as AI Boost 2021 provide an overview of where Lithuania stands globally in the field of AI and refine where it will go next.

From practical solutions to security issues

The AI ​​Boost 2021 conference covered five very important tracks: AI for business, AI Applications, AI for Government and Society, AI for Start-ups and AI for Research. The first day of the event focused more on the general themes and trends of artificial intelligence in various industries. Everyone who visited the event were taken on a journey throughout the history of AI – how modern artificial intelligence has evolved since the 1980s until now and got deeper into the answers to the question of whether robots will take over our jobs. Representatives of start-ups and companies shared their experience in applying artificial intelligence solutions, while the speakers from well-known companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Renault and Accenture presented how artificial intelligence can really help various businesses.

The second day of the event presented different perspectives on how and in what areas the public sector and artificial intelligence start-ups can work together to create the solutions needed by the public sector and governments, while bringing benefits to society. Everyone had a chance to hear a well-known voice from World Economic Forum and get to know all about the development of global regulation of artificial intelligence. Representatives of Oxfords Insights shared their insights on the preparation of different countries for artificial intelligence, and experts from the
Responsible AI Institute explained what responsible artificial intelligence means in practice.

Participants were able to get a look deeper and find out how artificial intelligence is used in higher education. Security issues related to artificial intelligence, and in particular privacy and data
protection, were not left out either. Participants had a chance to learn about how to make artificial intelligence safe, ethical, and have a positive impact on every member of society. And finally,
everyone was invited to join a panel on how to attract investment to fund artificial intelligence solutions.

AI ​​Boost 2021 conference team made sure that everyone, no matter of their interest, had a chance to find something for themselves, to learn about artificial intelligence in a simple way, and to get
inspiring ideas.

AI Boost 2021 conference program is still available for a re-watch at the events platform “myOnvent”: https://myonvent.com/event/ai-boost-2021 .

The virtual event "AI BOOST 2021" was organized by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology with the assistance of the Association of Artificial Intelligence and the Lithuanian
Science Liaison Office in Brussels (part of the Lithuanian Science Council).

AI ​​Boost initiative as a part of The GovTech Laboratory project, is run by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund,
no. 01.2.1-LVPA-V-842 Inogeb LT.