Russia Accelerates Its Artificial Intelligence Development Program

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By Paul Goncharoff

Not known for letting moss grow under his feet, on Tuesday (January 31, 2023) Russian President Vladimir Putin officially instructed the government of the Russian Federation to accelerate key changes to national projects and state programs that provide for the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in all sectors of the economy and society. This order must be executed by September 1, 2023.

The Russian National Strategy for the Development of Technologies (NSDT), which deals in Artificial Intelligence was supercharged in mid-January when the Russian Government finally agreed in tandem with businesses on a detailed roadmap for the development of artificial intelligence. The agreement was signed by Dmitry Chernyshenko, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, German Gref,  Chairman of the Board of PJSC Sberbank, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF JSC, and Dmitry Peskov, CEO of the ANO NTI Platform.

The goals of the Russian AI roadmap involve achieving specific results in the fields of technology development, as well as the products and services to use them. The NSDT roadmap consists of 65 AI project products that will be developed by key AI development partners in Russia, a few with the cooperation of partners from countries friendly to Russia.

According to Chernyshenko, at the current moment in Russia, more than 52% of large organizations in the country are already using AI in their activities. According to the developers of the roadmap, the contribution of AI to Russia’s GDP by 2025 may be as much as 2%. Sberbank on the other hand estimated 1% additional, either way, it is a growth curve. As part of the NSDT roadmap is the effectiveness of AI solutions and will be assessed by the growth rate of the Russian AI technology market – by 2030 it should double and be at least Rubles 20 billion (US$2.8 billion).

The introduction of AI in key sectors of the economy should lead to increases in indicators such as speed, quality, personalization, and economic efficiency by factors of 5 to 7 times. The basis and efforts for the industrial implementation of AI in Russia has been in active development for over three years, and it is felt that the key drivers such as personnel, research, regulation, and others, have now developed sufficiently. Today the challenge set out by President Putin is to accelerate the transition to widespread and large-scale implementation of AI in key industries throughout the country.

It is estimated that more than 50% of Russian organizations purchasing AI solutions prefer domestically developed AI. This plays a role in strengthening the technological independence of Russia. For example, in agriculture, 12% of enterprises are already using AI technologies, and 36% plan to implement them shortly. In the transport industry, these figures are 18 and 30%, respectively. In healthcare, 16% of organizations use AI technologies, and another 34% have plans to use them. Approximately the same ratio applies for Russia’s manufacturing industries.

More than a thousand AI companies will receive grants for Rubles 17 billion by 2024. It is also reported that the project will continue to provide financial support to six artificial intelligence research centers established in 2021 based on Skoltech, Innopolis University, ITMO, HSE, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and the Institute for System Programming of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Research centers should now become growth points for science and technology in AI.

The Russian Government has appointed the Higher School of Economics to curate the introduction of these and other AI projects in the public sector and industry. In conclusion, Dmitry Chernyshenko noted that by 2025, AI technologies will be commonly used throughout the Russian Federation by public authorities and corporations.

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