A 10-thousand-euros yearly scholarship fund has been distributed among the ten KTU graduates of 2021, who were analysing the artificial intelligence (AI) application-related topics in their final projects. A total of 42 KTU student final projects were evaluated. The competition was open to undergraduate, graduate and professional students of all study fields and areas.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is influencing our daily lives and getting more and more attention from researchers. At Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), AI is among the priority research areas. A 10-thousand-euros scholarship fund for the students who choose the AI application-related topics in their final projects is one of the measures applied by the KTU to encourage the interest of the young generation towards AI technologies.
This year, the graduates of KTU School of Economics and Business (SEB), the Faculties of Informatics (IF), Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MGMF), and Mechanical Engineering and Design (MIDF) received targeted scholarships. A total of 42 KTU student final projects were evaluated.
“We are thrilled to see so many interesting AI-related projects from different fields of science submitted to the competition. This only proves that the KTU academic community is becoming more and more interested in exploring the possibilities of AI applications”, says Agnė Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė, the Head of the KTU Artificial Intelligence Centre, and a member of the competition evaluation board.
The students’ final projects were evaluated according to their relevance, innovation, and applicability in the market.
“When evaluating the projects submitted to the competition, we noticed that most often with the help of AI the students solved real and current problems in various fields, including medicine, cybersecurity, production, finance and others”, says Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė.
According to one of the winners of the competition Kotryna Nagytė, who has just graduated from KTU School of Economics and Business, artificial intelligence, big data, intelligent data analysis are becoming more and more common in business, where traditional processes are changed by innovative ones. Nagytė received a €1 thousand scholarship for her final project “Application of Big Data Analytical Tools in Audit Procedures of Financial Statements”.
“Business processes’ digitalisation lead to changes in the procedures applied in the audit of financial statements. Audit firms must respond to innovation and introduce smarter analysis tools to computer-based audit measures. As such changes in the market are relatively new, the research analysing the relationship between audit and AI technologies is still scarce”, says Nagytė.
In her project, the student was exploring the application of big data and analytics in the audit through both practical and scientific experience.
“I appreciate the fact that I had the opportunity to choose this topic for my final project. While writing it, I successfully applied the acquired experience in auditing and further developed my scientific knowledge”, says the recent KTU graduate.
According to Nagytė, the results obtained during the study can be effectively applied in audit companies. The scholarship for her is a great incentive to continue further research on innovative technologies applied in auditing.
Skirmantas Navickas, a graduate of KTU IF program systems, another scholarship awardee, is convinced that the competition encourages the students to pay closer attention to the AI-related topics when thinking about their final projects. He says that the scholarship he won for the project “Algorithm for Colour Clustering Based on Unsupervised Machine Learning”, motivates him to further delve into AI using possibilities.
“The scholarship will help me buy better equipment, so I will be able to perform my experiments not only faster but also on a larger scale”, says Navickas.
During his final project, Navickas was looking for a simpler solution for separating the colour of a garment from a photograph. His project analyses the effectiveness of SOM (self-organizing map) in solving such a task.
“The solutions that are currently used both in industry and research are complex, slow and often require specific conditions to achieve a sufficient level of accuracy”, says the KTU IF graduate.
The technology developed by Navickas is especially suitable for clothing retail sites, as it allows the automatic filtering of products. However, the developed technology can be applied not only for sorting products by colour but has wider application possibilities.
In Europe and around the world, the inclusion of AI topics in studies is becoming more widespread. Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė says that although previously AI topics were more of a doctoral subject at KTU, now artificial intelligence modules are also included in the first and second cycle of studies.
KTU, as a leading university in the field of AI research, offered the first in Lithuania undergraduate Artificial Intelligence study programme.
The head of the KTU Artificial Intelligence Centre, Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičienė is convinced that every year the number of research and scientific activities in the AI field will increase, therefore she expects that more student projects will be submitted for the competition.
“AI application is relevant and useful for various areas of science and industry: translation, economics, chemistry, mechanics and others. Although the students’ interest in AI-related topics grows every year, the prize fund is an additional incentive for new students to take an interest in the application of artificial intelligence in their speciality. For those who already have AI-related knowledge it serves as a motivation to expand their knowledge and to engage in research”, says the Head of KTU Artificial Intelligence Centre.