“Artificial Intelligence is certainly the basis for another leap forward in human history. These are the so-called crosscutting technologies that permeate and will permeate industrial production, the social sphere, science and even culture,” Vladimir Putin said in his video address to the Artificial Intelligence Journey Conference, titled Artificial Intelligence as the Prime Technology of the 21st Century, presidential website reports.
“Everyone can see the role the internet plays in the life of the individual and all of humanity today. There are risks there, but the internet must follow the same rules that have been used up to now, legal regulations as well as the moral and ethical standards that humanity has elaborated over millennia. The internet is a new sphere, a new type of activity, new systems, but they must be applied on the same scale as in other fields. The same applies to Artificial Intelligence. It is up to each individual person how carefully he or she will use these opportunities. Just as it depends on them how they use nuclear energy or other achievements, including military ones,” he noted. “Artificial Intelligence has already become a real phenomenon and relates to everything, to all areas, it is a frontier in the life of civilization and international cooperation. Artificial Intelligence will never replace humans. Machines will control people to a large extent, just like many other modern technological devices do, but in the final analysis, people must control these machines.”
According to the President, “Artificial Intelligence is becoming a helpful assistant that opens up new horizons for implementing the numerous tasks facing humanity. Humanity will benefit if these enormous resources are used properly. We must build a relationship with it in a way that lets breakthrough technologies help us achieve our national goals. That is, to transform Russia and to strengthen its global positions and, hence, first and foremost, improve the welfare and living standards of its citizens.”
“A year ago, many were thinking that certain projects were part of a distant or even nearly fantastic future, but already in the spring, when the pressure on the healthcare system increased several times over due to the coronavirus pandemic, the AI algorithms certainly helped and continue to help doctors to quickly diagnose this dangerous disease, analyse test results with a fairly high level of accuracy and, no less importantly, made it possible to significantly boost the testing quality and volume. Next year, 10% of the country’s medical institutions may be using this technology,” he said. “The pace of technological change has increased many times over, which is clearly so. In a matter of several short months, Russia and the entire world have covered a distance that could otherwise have taken years, or even decades. AI technology and Big Data analysis are changing everyday habits and lives, and opening the door to outstanding corporate and individual achievements in advanced business models. This creates new opportunities and offers new tools for achieving success to everyone who seeks renewal and progress.”
In his view, “It is impossible to reject progress. It never happened before and will never happen in the future. This is an irreversible process. We need to learn how to control Artificial Intelligence. We need to master one of the greatest technologies ever created by humanity, and to do so, we need to be bold, competent and forward-looking. All of us — the state, society, business and individuals — need to keep up with the impressive dynamics of change, master new knowledge and technology, and move faster and more resolutely into a new era.”
“There are many companies in our country that do what we just recently could only dream of, without any doubt,” he pointed out. “We already have self-driving cars on the streets of some cities — so far in test mode, but still. In our inland waters, there are already ships that can sail without a captain or crew. We ourselves are creating unmanned ships, including submarines, for the defense industry in this case. Combines with autonomous control systems are being tested in 15 regions. And most importantly, our AI developments are based on world-class domestic scientific and technological groundwork. Moreover, they are created not only at universities and research institutes. Thus, among private companies, Yandex is one of the world’s leaders in AI research; it ranks in the top five.”
As Vladimir Putin further said, “It is necessary to boldly conduct a scientific search where research prospects are still intangible. Sometimes we have to feel around, and such is the case with strong Artificial Intelligence, self-learning, when the machine itself will solve any issues better than a human, self-learn and constantly improve. This is where incredible discoveries and technological breakthroughs are possible.”
In the coming decade the President expects “A digital transformation of Russia, introducing AI technology and Big Data analysis everywhere, relying on sovereign technological achievements, building on the achievements of the domestic innovative and start-up companies, as well as mathematics schools.”
“A vast market is being created for technological and scientific discoveries and products. There is large demand on behalf of the economy and the social sphere. Billions of rubles will go towards the digital transformation of public administration and shifting almost all public services to an e-format. Most of them will be provided automatically, on an as-needed basis and proactively,” he said. “The government will have to adopt a digital transformation strategy for the 10 key sectors of the economy and social sphere with practical measures to introduce AI algorithms so that they can serve as reliable assistants to doctors, transform cities and be widely used in utility services, transport and industry. Its main objective is technological progress, and its greatest achievements must ensure the prosperity, higher incomes and quality of life for every family,” he stressed.