Project Digital Philosopher Won AI Award of the Idea of the Year 2019

A project called Digital Philosopher created by students and lecturers from New Media Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, became the Idea of the Year 2019 – AI Awards.

The website featuring “digital philosophers” was created as an alternative to the contemporary teaching of philosophy. Students put together corpora of chosen thinkers’ texts that trained a neural network which specializes in an understanding of texts and their generation. The “chat” with virtual personalities, such as Michel Foucault or Václav Havel, is also accessible to the interested members of the public.

The project was created in autumn 2019 in the course Contemporary Philosophy taught at CUFA in cooperation with lecturers from New Media Studies, Mgr. Dita Malečková, Ph.D., CEO of Alpha Industries Mgr. Jana Tyla, and students of CUFA. “I have taught the students of New Media Studies the contemporary philosophy for ten years and each year, I invented a new method to show that it is not some kind of fossil that should be learned only to honour the tradition,” Dr. Malečková explains the origins of the project.

The project is a typical output of the New Media Studies that strives to connect the theoretical thinking with technology and, at the same time, to find a critical approach to technological future of which is the AI an emblematic example.

In the summer semester 2019/2020, Dr. Malečková leads together with Jan Tyl and an expert IT team of another project called Digital Writer. This time, the eminent group focuses more on the architecture of algorithms that generates n of literary texts: it creates a unique method of learning neural network to build a consistent story. On this project cooperate technicians, experts on machine learning and audio-visual technology, and students of the department and also writers.

Students and co-creators of Digital Philosopher: Adam Cironis, Tomáš Eliaš, Karolína Foitlová, Veronika Hanáková, Jakub Jetmar, Tomáš Kovařík, Lucie Krejzlová, Anna Lamberova, Jiří Logojda, Lenka Pittnerová, Alfréd Schubert, Anežka Studničková, Štěpán Šanda, Filip Štochl, Jan Vlček.