November 27th 2023.
At an artificial intelligence conference in Moscow, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced his intention to approve an 'ambitious' strategy for the development of artificial intelligence in Russia. He noted that the US and China are currently leading the way in AI development, and expressed concern that 'alien' systems could lead to the cancellation of Russian culture.
Putin acknowledged that Russia is lagging behind in the development of AI, and attributed this to the brain drain following the invasion of Ukraine and the effects of Western sanctions on high-tech imports. However, he said that it is not possible to ban AI and that Russia must keep up with the progress of AI.
He noted that some Western online search engines and generative models ignore or negate the Russian language and culture, which he said is unacceptable and dangerous. Putin further said that Russia must increase its ambitions and actions in the development of AI, with the aid of presidential decrees and national strategies.
In addition, he proposed that Russian researchers should have better access to supercomputers and that the top-level AI education in Russia must be improved. Putin also said that laws must be changed, international cooperation must be improved, and much more investment must be made in the development of AI.
Putin praised two Russian companies, Sberbank and Yandex, for developing their own generative AI and language models, which he said need to be further developed and applied to sectors of the economy. Sberbank CEO German Gref has overseen investments in AI, cloud services, big data, and smart devices, and reported to Putin that the AI investments are making $3 billion annually.
It is clear that AI is an important part of the future, and that countries must take measures to ensure they are not left behind. It will be interesting to see how Putin's strategy for the development of AI in Russia will be implemented and how it will shape the future.
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