Lead AI Engineer | R&D
Mike Trneny. That’s how we know him. Being Czech, he’s technically a ‘Michal’, but being a worldly man he answers to Mike. But although a man of the world, he’s quiet and dependable, a keen observer. You can count on him to get things done. And his patient skills of observation are demonstrated in his interest in photographing the natural world.
After nearly five years with Runecast, Mike was recently promoted to our Lead AI Engineer. Despite that, you’ll find that he considers himself a data scientist. Here is Mike in his own words…
For an introduction, how would you describe yourself in 3 sentences?
[Moment of awkward silence] Haha, that would actually describe me pretty well, as I’m mostly a keen observer and listener. I like to think that makes me good at understanding what needs to be done and how to tackle it. I may be hesitant at times, but when I get passionate about something, I’m not afraid to fully commit to it.
Let's dig a little deeper into your connections with Runecast. What is your position in the company?
I’m a Data Scientist. Of course, you’re going to ask if I mean data analyst, data engineer, machine learning engineer, or something else. Keeping up with all these job titles would possibly be a full-time job on its own. I like to think I’m an all-round data scientist specializing in Natural Language Processing, or NLP.
I need to identify what needs to be done, how to best approach it, and I do quite a lot of coding in Python to deliver something that can be used by anyone. My main responsibility is to help the engineers with digging through all sorts of documents to ensure that Runecast Analyzer detects what’s important as soon as possible.
As a Data Scientist on our R&D team, what does your normal day look like?
Haha, there’s no such thing as a normal day for me! But really, I’ve been with Ruencast since 2017 and involved myself in quite a lot of processes stretching almost all the teams. As a result, my day often starts with addressing some unexpected request or looking into why one of our many pipelines may not be working as intended. Then I look into what my brilliant teammates have been doing and we’ll typically talk about the current progress and what’s next on the plate. Finally, I tend to my mostly development-related tasks.
Data is a big topic today. And many people believe that data is the future. Where do you see the biggest advantage and what scares you the most about it?
What drove me towards machine learning was the ability to predict the future. Imagine that! No sorcery, just good old statistics. Of course, just like with any powerful tool, it can be adjusted to do bad things, deepfakes being an obligatory recent example.
Luckily, machine learning can also be used to detect these bad things, so I’m hopeful that we’ll be mostly talking about the exciting discoveries rather than data criminals. We can know about health issues before they manifest, we can be alerted to natural disasters before they strike… There are so many great applications where our brains are clueless while facing large amounts of data, but computers just look at it and do their “magic”.
What do you love the most about your work? And the least?
Being involved in everything I possibly can. I immensely enjoy the variety but, at the same time, it gives me little room to properly take care of everything. But I like this little chaos of mine.
What do you enjoy when you aren’t working?
I’ve been a gamer ever since I could sit in front of a PC as a kid. As a tech nerd, I picked up photography in addition to that. That pairs nicely with my love for hiking, resulting in me being mostly a landscape and nature photographer. However, that changed recently as I started being more aware of wildlife and that’s what most of my photos capture these days. Shh, not many people know I’m also a video editor.
We all know you are a fan of cheesecakes! Tell us where in Brno we can find the most delicious one!
My secretly favorite café got unfortunately closed and I’m still in search of that one place where you simply have to come every week for a dose of your sugary dream. Of course that’s a good thing because you have an excuse to try as many cakes as you can. My current favorite cake is… actually a pie! Namely cherry pie baked at Marťinák’s.
And a love-hate question to wrap up: What is on your bucket list?
Sure, let me open my future dreams journal. Oh, I don’t have any. Anyway, I definitely want to do more hiking over tall mountains. I’m far from seeing the whole Alps, I desperately need to visit Norway, and then maybe go all the way to the other side of the globe to New Zealand. I definitely want to do something related to wildlife and nature preservation. Just not yet sure if just further developing my photography hobby or getting more directly involved.