The Land of AI

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According to my knowledge population of Slovenia has the largest percentage of Artificial Intelligence researches in world. There are some 200 people actively involved in AI research scattered over a dozen of research groups (8 at University of Ljubljana, 4 at Jožef Stefan Institute, and one at University of Maribor). Not bad for a country of 2 million. And in Aleš Leonardis, Blaž Zupan, Aleš Ude, Marko Grobelnik, and venerable Ivan Bratko we have a line of top AI scientists who regularly present their  work at the top conferences in the world. The field of AI is at the boiling point. Google has just announced acquisition of DeepMind for $400 million (after recently acquiring Boston Dynamics, hiring Ray Kurzweil and Geoffrey Hinton), Facebook set up AI lab led by Yann LeCun, and Baidu founded Institute of Deep Learning. If there's time to make money with AI, that time is now. Unfortunately, I don't see or hear any Slovenian AI researcher or research group trying to ride this trend. Maybe I'm just ignorant. If that is the case, please tell me in the comments. But more likely it is just more safe to write proposals for EU funded projects than it is to go all out and found a start-up thus jeopardizing a cozy scientific career.

I wish I would know how to better monetize the enormous resource that Slovenia has in its AI researchers. I don't but what I do know is that a big opportunity is passing by.

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