President Putin signs national AI development strategy

26 October 2019

A “National Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence for the period until 2030” was approved earlier this month by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as reported by TASS.

The presidential executive order defines AI as “technological solutions that can simulate a person’s cognitive functions and get results comparable at least to the results of human intellectual activity,” according to the news agency.

Developing and implementing AI technologies is seen as a way to increase country’s technological independence and competitiveness, and place it among world leaders. The program also aims to accelerate Russia’s research and development effort, enlarge access to computing resources for users and develop training in the field of AI.

AI to rule the world

President Putin began showing interest in AI several years ago. In September 2017, in an “open lesson” with Russian students, he stated that “whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” 

He also warned about “threats [associated with AI] which are difficult to predict.”

In May this year, as the President visited next-gen IT school ‘School 21,’ a large part of his speech was dedicated to the importance of artificial intelligence.

“The artificial intelligence mechanisms will allow for quick real-time decision-making based on analysing vast amounts of information known as big data, which provides tremendous advantages in terms of quality and performance. In addition, such mechanisms are unparalleled in history in terms of their impact on the economy and productivity, the effectiveness of management, education, healthcare and daily life,” he said.

“However,” Putin added, “vying for technological leadership, primarily, in the sphere of artificial intelligence – and you are all very well aware of this, colleagues – has already lead to global competition. New products and solutions are being created at an exponential growth rate.”

Exponential growth

In recent statements made at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum , Putin cited expert forecasts according to which the global market for AI-based products would grow to some $500 billion by 2024 – up almost 17 times from now.

Putin also proposed to establish partnerships between large companies and the Russian state in a range of scientific and technological areas. These include artificial intelligence, new materials, genome technologies for medicine, agriculture and industry, as well as portable sources of energy, techniques of its transmission and storage, TASS reported.

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