The Czech Republic is creating a venture capital fund to back artificial intelligence (AI) research.

The $58 million government-backed fund, set to be managed by the European Investment Fund is a “pilot” project, the Czech ministry of industry and trade told Sifted Wednesday (March 1).

About a quarter of that funding will go to an AI technology transfer fund as part of push from the Czech government to help the country’s AI scientists to commercialize their research.

“We, as Europeans, really have quite good AI research like primary university research, but what we really lack is the application and VC investments, in comparison to the US and China,” Jan Klesla, the ministerial advisor responsible for the project, said in an interview with Sifted.

This is happening at a time when the world’s biggest tech companies are increasingly centering their AI experiments as the technology continues to evolve.

As PYMNTS wrote Wednesday, companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Meta have long used proprietary AI tools to support front-end and back-end business processes, but are now bringing them to the forefront of their business.

Google’s search program relies on its proprietary AI solution RankBrain, and an array of other businesses use AI technology’s applications for their own products — even unexpected companies such as John Deere.

“But the rise of ChatGPT was a shot sent across the bow of the tech industry in particular, and many of the sector’s biggest leaders are now rushing to bring their own tools to market in order to hold on to their aura of innovation and continue to attract top talent,” PYMNTS wrote.

However, the next generation of AI isn’t without its risks, “as playing fast and loose with the emergent and intelligent technology can frequently result in the spread of misinformation and toxic content,” the report added.

Speaking with PYMNTS for the Nuvei PYMNTS Merchant Series on the use of AI in the payments and financial services space, PayU Chief Product Officer Daniel Cohen said he sees a wealth of possibilities around AI.

And when it comes to finance and payments, Cohen said the usefulness of AI starts with its abilities to catch things humans often don’t.

“It all comes down to how we use data,” he said. “As humans, we’re very limited at using data, at looking stuff up, at running complex statistics and trying to find maybe the right loan, the right investment. With AI and the simplicity that it introduces … the amount of data that this AI entity can collect, can process, and then feed information back to you is endless.”




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