Artificial intelligence projects are now eligible for funding from a €125,000 research fund unveiled on Tuesday by Economy Minister Silvio Schembri in collaboration with the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.
Each project selected would benefit from a maximum aid of €25,000, which means that at least five projects would be eligible for the scheme.
Schembri mentioned how in 2019 Malta launched the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence and highlighted the need for AI to be adopted by all industries and services, including the public and private sectors.
He mentions how financial support was provided for a project to develop a speech and text recognition system for Maltese. “This project is a clear demonstration of how artificial intelligence can help in the education of our children,” Schembri said.
“We believe and appreciate that there are expenses in research, both in terms of salaries and equipment. There is never a guarantee that research will lead to results, so through the fund, we are giving hope and helping researchers to pursue their projects,” Schembri emphasized.
Schembri also said he believes research should not belong exclusively to educational institutions and should be more mainstream, even at the commercial and industrial level.
MDIA President Joshua Ellul said AI is prevalent these days, as not a day goes by that people don’t use the technology to listen to music, order food and access to online information.
“AI is software based on previous experience and data, it is highly dependent on data and experience that is embedded in it,” Ellul said.
He noted that in addition to students, today’s innovators should also be supported to help pave the way for better use of technology.