Sberbank CEO and Chairman of the Management Board German Gref: Good afternoon, Mr President. Good afternoon, colleagues.
I would like to thank you very much for taking part in this conference today, an important milestone for the development of AI technology in our country. As is traditional, it is a research conference combined with a practice-oriented conference, and this year, it is devoted to practical industrial applications of artificial intelligence. This year’s trend, according to international agencies, is customisation, or a very simple application of industrial artificial intelligence: AI has become a very accessible technology for use even in small companies.
In recent years, I would say, in the last two years, Russia has taken a big step forward, even a leap both at the regional level and at the level of the Government of the Russian Federation. The government is putting a lot of effort into creating the right conditions for the development of artificial intelligence in almost all areas.
The leading regions are listed here. First of all, the experiment that you greenlighted in the city of Moscow. Moscow has made huge strides in recent years. It is even hard to say which sector uses more AI-enabled solutions – transport, health care, social services, or work with the population. The work of the city administration has been transferred to completely different tracks.
Today we are observing and recording a growing interest in our country with regard to the development and implementation of AI technology. The popularity of this conference at the international level is also growing. The online stream had more than 50 million views in two days; participants are joining it from more than 180 countries, and in the morning hours, we see significantly more connections from abroad than connections from Russia.
This conference annually includes artificial intelligence competitions. Over the past seven years, more than 35,000 AI specialists have participated in the competitions, and a large number of, one might say, unique specialists have been raised over that period, and are working at Russian companies and government agencies now.
This year’s competition offered four problems to solve, quite difficult ones – we are gradually raising the degree of complexity of the tasks – and participants proposed over 6,000 solutions. One of the tasks, FusionBrain Challenge 2.0, involved building a multitask AI model that would successfully perform as many as 12 diverse tasks.
This year, we have some very interesting results in terms of our young scientists’ achievements. And today, we have invited five young scientists – leaders in the relevant areas of artificial intelligence, as well as people who introduce the achievements of science into practical areas.
It is a great honour for us that you are taking part in our annual conference today. This can certainly give impetus to the development of science and technology in Russia. More and more engineers, more and more young people are embracing the idea of reorganisation, digitalisation, the introduction of the most cutting-edge technologies and innovations in everyday life.
Mr President, allow me to give you the floor.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr Gref.
It is a pleasure to welcome the participants of Artificial Intelligence Journey 2022, a conference annually hosted by Sber – the scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who are present in this room today, and the rest of the audience of course – hundreds of thousands of people around the world joining us online. As you can see, at certain moments, there are even more interested people abroad than here. But this is no surprise. We are developing technology – we have indeed been making big strides in certain areas, but in others, we still have to catch up – and people involved in this agenda certainly want to keep abreast of developments.
Such a diverse audience is evidence of the growing prestige of your platform, of the great international attention paid to Russia's achievements in the field of artificial intelligence. And as I have said, we certainly have had some achievements. In fact, in certain areas, as I have already said, we are one step ahead of some other countries, and we need to redouble our efforts. We need specific decisions, joint steps in this regard – we will certainly talk about this today, we will discuss it. We will move in this direction, without a doubt.
I will probably say things that are obvious to everyone – breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence have tremendous significance. With the fierce rivalry between countries, Russia's place in the world, our sovereignty, security and viability depend on the results we achieve, as well as our ability to attain our goals of economic, industrial and social development at a qualitatively new level, create broad-based conditions for people’s self-realisation and for launching public initiatives.
I am glad that many people, including young people, share these goals and are making a significant contribution to their achievement.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to the young Russian researchers who have not been in this field for long yet, but are already shaping our country’s technological potential. I would like to note several young professionals – Alexei Naumov and Sergei Samsonov from the Higher School of Economics; Vladislav Buzdin and Inna Minashina from MIPT University; Denis Turdakov from the Institute for System Programming; Ruslan Lukin from Innopolis University; Anna Kalyuzhnaya and Nikolai Nikitin from ITMO University; Ivan Oseledets from Skoltech; Semyon Budyonny from the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute; and Yelena Sokolova from the Sber Lab. As I understand it, some of them spoke as we were touring the exhibition just before this meeting.
I would also like to thank not only our creators and developers, but also our other colleagues who are promoting the technological agenda and setting the trajectory of this highly important vector for Russia’s future. I am referring to Sber, the corporation that has assumed the main responsibility for coordinating the effort to develop artificial intelligence; also, I must mention my colleagues in the Government – the ministries of digital and economic development.
I would like to note that in the opinion of international experts, Russia is one of the world’s leaders in digitising government services, among the top ten. To my knowledge, 198 countries are rated overall. The three leaders include South Korea, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. They are our good partners; we could say some of them are our closest partners.
Of course, our business tech community is providing an excellent example of self-organisation. An alliance of companies has been established in artificial intelligence. Ethical principles for the development and introduction of this technology have been drafted at its initiative. Over 120 participants have already joined this Code of Ethics.
Mr Gref, when did we talk about establishing it?
German Gref: Two years ago.
Vladimir Putin: There, two years ago. I am pleased to note that this alliance is working. I will mention several times in my speech how well it is working. We took a very important step towards creating the right atmosphere. I consider you, my colleagues, reliable and effective partners of the state on technological development issues. I am confident it will be so in the future as well.
Owing to our joint work, we are making rapid progress in all areas of the National Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence, supporting education and science, introducing measures to support companies, and adjusting legal regulation. These efforts are producing practical, tangible results.
As I have just mentioned, in a special demonstration zone Mr Gref presented just some individual developments by our technological leaders in different areas. It was impossible even to imagine such tangible achievements of human ingenuity in science and technology just several years ago. These solutions are stunning without any exaggeration and are certainly a valid reason for pride because they were developed in Russia and for Russia. Of course, they can be also freely used abroad because they are absolutely competitive and ahead of their counterparts in some respects.
Domestic companies are putting forward a variety of ideas and technical solutions in artificial intelligence. Importantly, competition between domestic developers is also growing. This useful rivalry is definitely expediting the industry’s advance, upgrading the quality of their intellectual products, and promoting their commercial success.
As for the leading companies that are successfully introducing AI technologies, they have been showing a steady increase in profit and productivity. And such examples, although rare, increasingly influence the performance of respective industries and the entire national economy.
At the same time, there is tremendous potential for further growth, and it is imperative to take advantage of every opportunity to implement such solutions.
According to experts, wider introduction of AI technologies can ensure an additional 20–30 percent growth in certain industries per decade.
As far as I know, Sber was one of the first to widely introduce artificial intelligence and has tested every solution –not all of them, but most of what could be tested – in its own operations. The results are really very good, even impressive. Last year, every sixth ruble of Sber’s profit was earned thanks to AI-enabled solutions, which helped to dramatically improve the convenience and quality of its services provided to individuals and corporate clients, to businesses.
Let me emphasise that we have now reached an important and significant milestone on the journey we planned – we have created the foundation necessary for the rapid development of artificial intelligence. Today, Russia has scientific achievements, unique researchers who are creating a new era of breakthrough technologies, and some experience with their practical application.
Our next goal on the horizon of the current decade is to ensure broader introduction of artificial intelligence. It should penetrate all sectors of the economy, the social services, and the public administration system. Mr Gref and I spoke about this when he was still working in the Government, and it was Mr Gref's pet project – he never stopped talking about the need to transition to a new level of administration in general, as a whole.
What we are doing now, and what we will be doing, including with Sber’s support and using Sber projects, should definitely convince us that we are on the right track, I think. We must be capable of achieving genuine technological, digital and, to a large extent, cultural, educational, and value-based sovereignty for Russia and our entire society.
I consider it necessary to include these priorities in the updated National Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence. In this regard, I ask the Presidential Executive Office, the Government and the alliance of AI companies, which I have already mentioned, to draft the corresponding executive order. We will consider it together and adopt it.
The successful practical introduction of artificial intelligence, just as success in governing a region, industry or company in the modern world, depends on the use of the data-based management system. This above all means that the decision-making process is not based on intuition, even though intuition is important as well. In this connection, I would like to say that intuition is based on experience and a large amount of data people accumulate and remember. But even that is not enough in this case. Decisions must be taken not only based on intuition but also on the basis of competently processed structured data about the object of management and their deep analysis.
This is where AI technologies are playing an increasingly more active and important role. I would like to note that transition to this modern model is impossible without resolve, maturity and a number of basic conditions. What are these? I believe that what I am going to say is old news for this audience, yet I would like to say it all the same.
The fist condition is the use of advanced lean manufacturing methods aimed at devising the best possible procedures and processes and at reducing losses. It is said that if you digitise chaos, you will only get digital chaos. Therefore, before implementing digitalisation and using AI technologies, we must first of all put things in order in our own businesses – any businesses.
Second, we need a project management system. Without it, any changes will fail. We need a clear formulation of the goal and a timeframe, resolve to attain a practical and achievable goal and the supply of resources needed for that.
As I said, these are the basic conditions needed for using a new data-based management system, and it is extremely important to introduce this system in business and, of course, in the system of government.
In this connection, I would like to ask the Government and the State Council, working under the digital transformation projects, to prepare and implement the transition of the governance system at the federal and regional levels to a model of data-based management using platform technology.
It should be added that this goal must be achieved at all bodies of government and in all key industries. Colleagues, I would like to ask you – I am addressing the alliance members again – to provide the necessary consultative assistance to the Government and to the colleagues you maintain contact with.
I also suggest that the Federal Centre of Competences in Labour Efficiency should join this project. It is an exceptionally important sphere for joint work. The results of this were demonstrated when we reviewed the performance of some agricultural companies in this sphere – I will speak about this later, and our colleagues from these enterprises are probably with us now.
They are addressing the task of enhancing the efficiency of their companies and enterprises, including with the use of lean manufacturing mechanisms. I believe that it would be reasonable to expand its mandate, so that the Federal Centre of Competences in Labour Efficiency can focus on the introduction of AI technologies and modern management systems in the economy and social sector, as well as, of course, at the federal and regional bodies of government.
I would also like to repeat what Mr Gref has said in connection with Moscow. It is notable that Moscow – I will speak about its experience again today – has made a huge step forward in the digital transformation of many sectors of the urban economy.
At the same time, the Moscow Region is preparing to launch a landmark project. The idea is to overhaul the system of governance through the end-to-end introduction of AI technologies. Maybe the Moscow Region Governor – I can see that he is attending this event – will tell us about this later.
I would also like to ask Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov to use the State Council to promote the application of their experience of introducing cutting-edge technologies throughout the country, just as we are doing in several other sectors.
The countrywide, broad use of modern technologies is aimed above all at improving the living standards and at creating new opportunities for the people. For example, the use of intellectual systems, industrial robots and automated workplaces should reduce the number of mundane functions and minimise human involvement in hazardous and dangerous production. This issue has been discussed at the lower level and I fully agree with the formulation of the issue.
We can see that the introduction of AI systems and robots has not increased unemployment, the possibility of which we discussed two years ago, and experts continue to speak about. They keep saying that the introduction of new technologies would leave many people who did low-skill work unemployed. On the contrary, intelligent efforts in this sphere, with carefully adjusted timeframes and with due preparations, will lead to the creation of new, more creative, substantive and interesting professions and highly skilled jobs.
Most importantly, people’s incomes are also growing. The growth of people's incomes is actually the result that technological revolutions have always entailed, historically. Companies, enterprises get the opportunity to raise wages because they are becoming more efficient, which in turn is due to effective data-driven management using machine learning and other artificial intelligence advantages.
The state must create the necessary conditions to help Russian business unlock its potential. I will allow myself to dwell briefly on each of the most important areas.
First. Businesses should not incur large costs in the process of introducing innovations. To avoid this, starting from January 1, 2023, businesses buying and deploying Russian-made solutions, including AI-enabled ones, can take advantage of tax incentives and direct additional funds to technological upgrades. For example, an amount 50 percent greater than the company actually spent on advanced Russian systems will be excluded from its income tax base.
I ask the Federal Taxation Service to closely monitor how conveniently and quickly these and other tools being proposed and developed will work.
Secondly, companies will need software and hardware tools with sufficient computing power to work with data and ensure end-to-end digitalisation of business processes and, what is also important, to ensure the operation of cloud infrastructure.
I ask the Government to support these plans, including to work out relevant mechanisms as part of the federal project on artificial intelligence.
I would like to add that we need to generally promote the development of our own sovereign cloud technologies, that is, various platforms and services for companies, citizens and authorities to use online: to use cloud-based applications, to store information, to make calculations.
We need to develop mechanisms for working and storing data on a Russian cloud platform, and we need to make this option much more reliable and secure than storing data and managing document flow in a desktop computer or on paper.
I would like to stress that we are talking about regulatory decisions as much as technological ones. In this regard, I ask the Government, as well as the professional community, to address these issues more closely.
The third point concerns data anonymisation. One of our colleagues spoke about this at the exhibition just now, in relation to medicine. She spoke about her work, and their plans for the near future, and about the need for access to such data. I agree with that, absolutely. I ask the parliament to speed up the work on the relevant draft law; it should be adopted as soon as possible. As far as I know, it has already passed its first reading in 2021 and should be finalised.
There are personal data protection concerns of course, but, as far as I understood our colleague who spoke about this at the exhibition on the ground floor, she was referring to anonymised data. This should certainly help to increase the efficiency of medical care.
I perfectly understand the fears that the state and business might be harbouring in this regard. We need to take into account all the concerns that users or businesses have regarding access to information and create strong legislative guarantees of protection of rights and freedoms here and be sure to move forward. It is imperative to move forward, to launch all the technological processes of formation, anonymisation, storage, and access to data.
In particular, I ask the alliance to think about how best to build a mechanism so that developers receive exactly the kind of data and in the amount they need to create machine learning solutions.
I would also like to ask the authorities at all levels to carefully study – and we will return to this again – Moscow's experience. The Moscow Mayor’s website has a section where users can get free access to data on various sectors of the city’s economy including transport, utilities, and so on. However, this page contains anonymised information, which is not personal data and cannot be used to identify a specific person or invade their private life, which is certainly very important.
Fourthly, a large package of support measures for the information technology industry is already being implemented. Start-ups can take advantage of grants for the development of new and expansion of existing AI projects, the creation of open, accessible libraries of best practices and technical solutions for developers.
I would like to emphasise here that this additional measure is working effectively; it is popular with companies developing artificial intelligence technologies, so the grant amount has been increased by a third to 30 million rubles.
I consider it necessary to continue to strengthen support for technology companies and start-ups, and I suggest that the alliance make its specific proposals in this regard.
I will not list all the benefits that have been provided in this industry now, because you are probably well aware of them. We believed – and we already talked about this when they were introduced, that they were certainly revolutionary, without any exaggeration, in supporting the industry.
Fifth, a lot has been done to adjust legislation to the introduction of the latest technologies. For example, experimental legal regimes have been created for safe testing of driverless vehicles, aircraft and vessels.
We need to go further to form a modern and globally competitive legislative framework for industry- specific regulation to implement artificial intelligence and data processing.
We have discussed this many times with our colleagues from the business community. We understand that these restrictions are significant for business development and will analyse the situation and make decisions together. The timing of these decisions is also important. I fully share your approach to these issues.
Of course, it is necessary to work actively on lifting the remaining regulatory barriers. Therefore, I ask the Government, along with the alliance, developers and real sector companies to present proposals on modifying specific regulatory requirements, technology standards, regulations and other industry codes that hinder the implementation of artificial intelligence, considering the nuances of each industry, as specific as possible, to ensure that measures are effective.
I am certain that today representatives of the business community will speak about modifications required in the regulatory framework. I want to mention a few decisions that are right on the surface and speak about the areas where it is absolutely obvious that artificial intelligence already outperforms and will continue to outperform humans in terms of qualify, speed and objective decision-making.
For example, AI-powered systems can monitor drivers and their condition, including public transport drivers, continuously, literally every second. Not a single medical worker can manage this task.
AI algorithms can perform virtual testing of devices, including driverless vehicles, before they get out there on public roads, thus reducing testing costs and risks for humans.
Finally, it may be possible to opt out of regulation-based maintenance to maintenance based on the actual condition, and from formal statutory maintenance schedules to risk-oriented and pre-emptive procedures. Algorithms will be able to assess the condition of components and equipment on a continuous basis and alert about potential failures.
We also need to merge new technological tools into standard procedures. In Moscow, for example, the use of AI technology for medical decisions has been included in clinical recommendations and compulsory medical insurance programmes, resulting in the higher quality of a whole range of medical services, more precise diagnostics and testing. Not only does it help to improve healthcare and save lives but it produces a significant economic effect by reducing demand for complex and expensive surgeries and reducing the time people spend on a sick leave. Most importantly, the quality is improving.
It is essential to adopt these approaches at the federal level as soon as possible. Of course, I would like to ask the Healthcare Ministry to particularly focus on digitalisation and the use of modern technology. I know that this work is in progress. The Healthcare Ministry is using all these technologies and there are respective plans in place for further work.
This work is important for all levels of public healthcare but I want to stress that it is extremely important in primary care. And our colleagues in the regions and municipalities should plan for working together with us.
Next, I propose to establish requirements concerning higher effectiveness and mandatory use of modern technology, including artificial intelligence, on a system-wide basis, with provision of budget subsidies to companies. It is not only a way to motivate businesses to work towards progress but a way to boost key performance indicators through innovation, including productivity, in order for us to respond to this feedback as we work together with businesses.
As concerns agricultural producers, for example, we also talked about this downstairs, and the logic must be as follows: a business receives subsidies and uses them to boost production – and, based on what I have been told, it does happen – and to increase the output. Artificial intelligence and other technologies will help and already help to achieve the result that we have seen today.
I want to stress that everything I am talking about is absolutely realistic. Everybody here is competent and you know what I am talking about. Time and technological development rate are speeding up. Every industry, company and organisation must be able to reinvent their approaches and vision more swiftly, abandoning the stereotypes that prevent them from moving forward and, obviously, learn something new every day and every hour.
Therefore, I believe that every national project and state programme must contain specific measures concerning the introduction of artificial intelligence in various industries.
Our major companies – I want to emphasise this and I hope the corporate leaders will hear me – must include AI technology in their investment plans as a key priority. They have fairly large funds at their disposal to do so, rather significant amounts given the circumstances, and it is imperative to use them to address the challenges that we are now discussing.
I would like to ask the alliance again to team up with representatives from the key sectors of the economy and the social sphere and to identify the most sought-after and important areas of AI technology and AI solutions that can be used in specific industries.
Based on the results, the Government will update digital transformation strategies for the manufacturing industry, construction, transport, agriculture, healthcare and other areas. This is a major and an absolutely indispensable joint effort.
I want the alliance to provide comprehensive methodological and advisory assistance to companies and organisations. Industrial competence centres that would make practical use of the Internet of Things, machine learning, and data processing technologies must be created in every industry. A handbook of best solutions must be compiled every year.
Also, I suggest that the professional community introduce a user-friendly system for measuring and assessing products offered by AI developers, so that businesspeople and civil servants know what technical specifications and variables they should be based on when choosing a particular technology or software product.
I would like to talk about human resources, which are a matter of fundamental and pivotal importance. Artificial intelligence works well in the interests and for the benefit of humans only if it is created and used by a competent and well-trained person.
Today, companies are out on a real manhunt for AI specialists. I am not going to give specific examples, but, as they say, the people in that industry are well aware of such incidents. Someone left a company to work for another one, and the performance levels at the former company plummeted instantly or it instantly confronted issues. The company then has to hire an employee with a similar skill set, which is a hard thing to do, since AI professionals are in short supply.
No doubt, we need to take up this challenge, which implies a combination of the government, business and the training system efforts. Major steps have been made to involve university and school students in addressing practical issues. Of course, we need to do more in this regard and to introduce AI studies into school mathematics and computer science curricula, to use more hours to teach these subjects, and to improve teacher skills.
We hold a variety of events that attract tens of thousands of university students and – which is particularly gratifying to know – millions of schoolchildren to take part in this joint effort, which is great news. We must certainly keep doing this.
Notably, over 3,000 students enrolled with advanced AI master's programmes this academic year.
Future medical doctors, teachers, agronomists and lawyers, as well as the manufacturing industry, communications and transport sector employees have a choice of a special AI educational module this academic year. Of course, we are talking about teaching basic principles of machine learning and data processing. However, with the technology developing at a fast pace, we need to take an extra step and to repackage training programmes so as to ensure high levels of AI competencies among specialists in key sectors of the economy and the social sphere. This goes for both training university students and improving the skills of specialists in the labour market. I ask the Government to draft specific proposals in this regard.
Of course, the introduction of innovative training mechanisms should go hand in hand with objective evaluation of their effectiveness. In this regard, I want the alliance companies to develop, in cooperation with the Government, university rankings showing the quality of training specialists with AI competencies. We need good examples, so that everyone could see the results of everyone's work. The entry-level salary for university graduates is the most important benchmark in this regard, because businesses willing to pay high salaries to recent graduates is the most accurate indicator of an employee’s skills and competencies and the performance of a particular higher education institution.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank the companies that create basic AI departments at universities, have students come for hands-on experience and internships, support talents with scholarships and then hire them to fill important positions.
I believe businesses and the state must continue to create comfortable and attractive working terms for AI specialists. Once again, I want the alliance to come up with proposals in this regard. There is a set of measures like low-cost mortgages, deferment from military service, fast-track hiring process, or obtaining a residence permit for foreign nationals. There is a whole set of measures that must be further expanded and enhanced.
I mentioned earlier the names of young researchers who engage in the development of fundamental solutions, including in dedicated AI research centres. As much as 7.3 billion rubles from various sources will be set aside for funding their activities until mid-2020s.
What do I want to note here? In order to reach truly important, breakthrough results, not only the state but also private business needs to consider the development of science as a key priority, attract researchers, open their own research facilities and laboratories, without waiting around for the state to give them something. They need to work the way our competitors do, and they need to build this system and provide funding for research, including in the field of artificial intelligence.
The fundamental developments and applied solutions that are being created must open new areas of activity, expand the horizons of business development and give companies additional tools for boosting competitiveness and efficiency.
At the same time, of course, it is necessary to learn from the advanced foreign experience and adopt the most promising developments. But please note, this does not mean copying blindly – we have spoken about that many times – not just copying what they do abroad and recreating it but suggesting your own approaches and technologies that help deal with tasks at a whole new level. This is the only way we can build a truly high-tech economy, a techno-economic model.
Thus, for instance, research is currently conducted on the neural network architecture that can perform multiple tasks in various languages – I was informed of that today too – and in various modalities. That is, the machine not just recreates human speech, but also tries to convey people’s emotions and develops its own cognitive skills using advanced computational architecture. That is, the machine is constantly improving itself, if I am not mistaken, it even can write programmes for itself.
Of course, it is important to understand what is going on there and control the entire process. It is a truly new technology-intensive reality, a practical point of reference for the development of technology, products and entire sectors based on machine learning.
As for Russian-made software, it is necessary to create and introduce solutions that will allow us to become leaders in the upcoming years. I am also talking about automated design engineering systems that use machine learning algorithms, when all it takes is uploading the basic parameters and artificial intelligence will suggest its own solutions, more efficient that the ones developed by human.
Here is another example, which concerns social and financial institutions, including at the global level. It is obvious that these institutions should reflect the new reality of the multipolar world and must be based on open and democratic principles that preclude dictates, abuses and monopolism.
All of us know very well that settlements are one of the possible methods of attack under the current circumstances of illegal restrictions. Our financial institutions know this better than anybody else because they are working under them. The current system of international settlements is expensive, and its system of correspondent accounts and regulation is being controlled by a small club of states and financial groups. In fact, they are acting as the masters of the universe who have monopolised control over everything.
We must combine cutting-edge technologies with humanity’s thousands of years of experience. For example, experts know about the hawala system of remittance, which has been used in international settlements for hundreds of years, I want to stress this fact, long before the Western banking system appeared, and it is still working, by the way.
What is it in essence? The sender gives money to a broker in his or her country of residence. The recipient gets the money from a broker in his or her country. Brokers make settlements among themselves on the basis of what can be described in modern terms as the clearing system.
The technology of digital currencies and blockchains can be used to create a new system of international settlements that will be much more convenient, absolutely safe for its users and, most importantly, will not depend on banks or interference by third countries. I am confident that something like this will certainly be created and will develop, because nobody likes the dictate of monopolists, which is harming all parties, including the monopolists themselves.
Next, special attention must be given to the technologies that can help tap the potential of artificial intelligence, such as quantum and photonic computing and quantum communication, a field where Russia has made great strides. There is also the Internet of Things and other end-to-end and cutting-edge industrial technologies. Companies that are partially owned by the state have started working in this sphere by signing relevant agreements with the Government of the Russian Federation.
Last summer, the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects held a thorough discussion on problems in several sectors. I am confident that the necessary conclusions have been made and that the implementation of the projects will be adjusted to the timeframe despite certain delays.
I believe that we also need to give more attention to a sphere where Russia is seriously lagging behind some countries, above all when it comes to implementation. I am talking about industrial robots. I want to get back to this issue – we just mentioned it, in passing.
In this connection, I would like to ask the Government to draft and approve a new federal project on the development of the national robotics industry, and to formulate the legal, tax and regulatory framework and the necessary state support measures, as well as a mechanism for funding R&D projects and the introduction of their results.
The efficiency of this technology is obvious. Our colleagues have told us just now about its application at KAMAZ, but this is also true about the entire economy.
I believe that it is necessary to constantly monitor progress in the field of all end-to-end technologies, strengthen ties between science and businesses, find solutions our companies need through dialogue with researchers, engineers and tech companies, and lift barriers that hinder our forward movement, as I have already said. In other words, we must act as we do or suggest during our conferences, including this one.
In this connection, I would like to ask our leading companies – Rosatom and Russia Railways – to join forces with our leading research universities and, using support from Sber, to organise and hold a conference on new data computing and transfer technologies next year, while the Ministry of Industry and its industrial partners are to hold a conference on new industrial technologies. I will try to make time to take part in them.
Of course, we should also invite our colleagues from other countries to these conferences, those who are ready for this. We continue working with many of them; they are from the SCO and BRICS. Those who are not members of these groups but hold the lead in some spheres, as I said at the beginning, will gladly work with us.
I have no doubt that new solutions that will change the world can only be found through close cooperation and based on trust and high ethical standards. This concerns all technological spheres, but especially AI. There are many examples showing when complicated AI algorithms are developing based on the open code principles thanks to hard work by thousands of software developers, who set up open libraries of solutions and designs.
We will definitely continue to strengthen AI implementation-related cooperation with our partners who are interested in this cooperation. As I said earlier, we will conduct joint research and education programmes in order to maximise the advanced technology’s potential for the benefit of the participating countries with all stakeholders, including BRICS and SCO members. A number of cooperation documents have been signed. We will keep working on this.
Our advances in the practical implementation of AI technology depend on our joint efforts and businesses’ willingness to scale up and improve their technology positions. On the other hand, these advances also depend on the authorities’ push to speed up change and to open doors to advanced technology.
Starting next year, we will monitor the results of using AI specifically by the economic sectors and in the social sphere. To this end, I propose creating a special tool – an industry- and region-specific maturity index, or an intelligence maturity index to make it sound more like a catchphrase – since we are talking about the introduction of AI, and use it to evaluate the performance of each constituent entity of the Federation, a ministry or an agency as they work to implement artificial intelligence.
It is imperative to encourage those who are making faster progress, creating the future and bringing it closer to us. In this regard, I propose establishing an annual award for young researchers and engineers for AI research and design breakthroughs. One more annual award should be established for successes in implementing AI and presented to domestic companies, enterprises, regions and cities. The first awards ceremony could be held next year during the Artificial Intelligence Journey 2023 conference.
Thank you for your time and patience, and I wish you every success in your work.
Mr Gref and I agreed that this would conclude my participation in the conference today due to my workload, but I am aware of our colleagues’ ideas that they shared during the conference and the presentation of various projects. So, I think I will listen to the proposals that the audience members may have, and then you will come up with more proposals as you continue to work together. Our colleagues will put them down in writing, and we will, of course, look into them and try to implement them.
Thank you very much again.