Artificial Intelligence made in Russia

December 12, 2017 // By Varvara Novikova, Alexander Titkov
Just like the future of our society, the technology of the modern digital economy is largely bound up with the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence (AI).

These opportunities have a downside, though, which is being pondered by people like Elon Musk. This fall, he pointed to a statement about AI made by President Vladimir Putin during the All-Russia Open Lesson: "Whoever becomes the leader in this area will own the world." Musk’s reaction on Twitter was no less unequivocal: "China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3."

Such an impression made the businessman turn to the UN in order to push for a global ban on AI-based weapons. This overview is an attempt to provide an answer to Musk (and those who share his point of view), with an emphasis on the Russian side of efforts to improve AI technology.

 

How to accelerate AI: Technology and relevant projects

Experts usually understand AI to mean the branch of ​​knowledge and technology that allows computers, based on certain tools and accumulated knowledge, to answer questions and draw their own conclusions. The computer in this case does not simply accumulate data, but generates new knowledge that was not previously entered into it by humans. Precisely this AI capability gave rise to such currently popular fields as neural networks, machine learning and pattern recognition.

According to SAP analysts, almost 1,500 AI research projects in Russia have received financial support from the state and private sector over the past 10 years, with more than half of the projects paid for by the state or implemented as part of federal targeted programs. For example, the Global Competitiveness Improvement Project for Leading Russian Universities, 5-100, has brought together the strongest Russian universities so that they could work in advanced research fields with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science. The creation of artificial intelligence is one such field.

In 2017, several major international conferences were held in Moscow, such as BICA 2017 and Neuroinformatics-2017. They brought together scientists from over 30 countries to discuss ways AI can help humankind in a variety of areas, such as medicine: for example, robots that react to the slightest signals from users can help people with disabilities adapt to the environment, or predicting a variety of consequences where computer simulators allow users to simulate certain – including emergency – situations in the most unpredictable combinations, providing the appropriate response and improving during the process of interaction.