Artificial Intelligence Scene In Krakow
For centuries Krakow has been developing as a strong academic center and a city with traditions, which is favored by unique atmosphere, created by artists living and spending their free time in this place for many years. That is why Krakow promotes both technology and creativity, which makes many foreign corporations and a number of Polish technological companies and startups locate their headquarters in here.
In the city where traditions intertwines with innovations, also the community of companies and people associated with widely understood subject of artificial intelligence develops swiftly. Back in 2016, when we started our adventure with new project of intelligent assistant, there were no periodic meetings and events, so people fascinated by this technology rather met in small, closed groups. And today, according to the ‘Map of the Polish AI’ created by Digital Poland, Krakow is the third among greatest Polish cities in terms of entities declaring the use of AI in their activity.
The situation has changed, so in order to make it easier for your navigation in this domain, I have prepared a subjective review of what is currently happening at the AI scene in Krakow.
My name is Tomasz Wesołowski and I am the founder of a company, where we work on the development of AI powered assistant for sales – Edward.
Community and Events
As I have already mentioned, in 2016 we did not have space where we would talk to people interested in AI, not only from technical perspective. That is how we came up with the idea of engaging the community by organizing the first meeting called “Let’s meet to talk about AI”. One meeting quickly turned into a series of “AI meetups”, and since that day, tens of other meetings, events and conference have been organized in Krakow.
Today one can easily get lost in what is worth visiting, so if you want to stay up to date, keep your eyes on the following meetups and meetings:
- AI Meetup (https://www.meetup.com/Krakow-Artificial-Intelligence-Meetup/) – organized by us since 2016 as a part of the series ‘Let’s meet to talk about AI’; open for everyone interested in the subject of artificial intelligence, regardless of the degree of their advancement and technical knowledge. We also organize AI Meetups in other Polish cities, trying to create the largest Polish community of people dealing with AI (check https://www.aimeetup.pl/ to know more).
- DataKRK (https://www.meetup.com/datakrk/) – organized since 2012 (previously as Cracow Hadoop User Group) meetings on Data Science; for the most part dedicated to technology and technical-oriented people
- DataWorkshop (http://www.dataworkshop.eu/) – conducted in the form of courses and trainings by Vladimir, who has been dealing with education and disseminating knowledge on machine learning for several years.
- AI Research Seminars (https://www.meetup.com/AI-Research-Seminars/) – organized as periodic discussions preceded by a lecture on a certain subject; addressed to more experienced people.
Single events and initiatives are also organized from time to time, that you may follow at CrossWeb. And if you would like to get involved and create something new, contact me – let’s do something together.
AI In Business
It is very difficult these days to find a company abstains from using big data and machine learning in their activity. That is why in this section I focused on companies for which artificial intelligence is the basis for their products or is decisive for their competitive advantage. And obviously those that are based in our city 🙂
One of the areas strongly represented in Cracow is widely understood automation of marketing. The headquarters of the largest Polish company of this type, SalesMANAGO, which uses machine learning to large extent in its activity, working with large databases is located in Krakow. Edrone also experiments in this area, in particular in the scope of e-commerce support. The list is incomplete without Synerise, which – assisted by Microsoft – turns into a global player, using AI for marketing support.
In the area of startups, I absolutely have to mention our Edward – intelligent assistant for sales teams; by using machine learning technology and conversational interface we facilitate the work of salesmen and sales managers, at the same time developing product unique on a global scale (it is like a Google Assistant for sales reps ;).
As for the use of conversational technologies, Edward is certainly not the only company in the city. Techmo, a company stemming from the AGH University of Science and Technology, has been developing their speech recognition technology for several years. Another product – Dronn is used, among others, in Alior Bank. And Lekta intensely works on using automation in voice communication.
The key to creating a unique solutions on the market is specialization. That is why startups most often develop their products by solving specific, single business problem. And so, Shelfwise works on a technology supporting store displays, Medapp develops an analytical telemedical system, and Talent.alpha works on a marketplace combining software houses with their potential customers. All with the use of artificial intelligence.
Speaking about software houses, Krakow constitutes a true Mecca of software companies. Although there are many companies of this type, not a lot were founded in Poland and focus specifically on AI.
It is worth mentioning Miquido, which develops its product not only for its customers, but has also created a unique solution in the scope of bank frauds analytics, which was used by Nextbank. Codewise, commonly known thanks to the advertising banner on the Forum Hotel, and which develops machine learning technologies in its product, Zeropark.
There is also a number of companies which develop projects in the service model for their customers (mainly from outside Poland): Lonsley, Craftinity or Virtus Labs. So, if you’re looking for an AI developer for your project – come to Krakow!
Corporations And Branches Of Foreign Companies
Like each big city in Poland, Krakow is a place where many branches of foreign businesses are located. Since this entry mainly concerns the startup scene and our local companies, I will only mention such giants as GE Healthcare or APTIV, the products of which we use everyday, not always being aware of the fact. Today each corporation develops internal data science departments in order not to lose their competitive advantage.
As I have mentioned in my introduction, Krakow is one of the strongest scientific centers in Poland. This is probably why it is a place where Polish Association for Artificial Intelligence founded at the AGH University of Science and Technology has its headquarters. The goal of the Association is to promote and support scientific, didactic and cultural activity in the scope of dissemination, development and application of AI theories, methods and tools and other domains in the scope of IT sciences, as well as popularize their achievements in the society. Both the president and members of the association visit our AI Meetups, so if you would like to meet them in person, it is your best opportunity.
I tried to discuss each of the mentioned domains in a reliable manner and to the best of my knowledge. However, I realize that this is only an introduction to the subject. So if I have omitted anyone in this publication, please let me know so that I can fix that. I would like this article to eventually become a comprehensive guide on everything that happens in Cracow in terms of AI.
Also, if you are interested in our product: Edward AI powered assistant for sales combines machine learning and conversation to support sales teams in their daily jobs. If you’d like to learn more about Edward, please visit our website.