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Digest about AI in Russia: top news in August

September 3, 2020|
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The most notable events in AI regulation, accessibility and security of personal data, slowdown of unmanned vehicles development and other topics of the issue - ICT.Moscow has collected the most important news about artificial intelligence in August from the @ict_moscow_ai telegram feed in one digest.


The Federal project and the Concept of regulation were approved

AI regulation was mentioned most often in the news items in August. Vladimir Putin’s order to finalize the federal project “Artificial Intelligence” until the end of summer was fulfilled - at the end of August, the passport of the project was approved.

The work on the Concept of the regulation of AI and robotics until 2024 was completed. It determines the main areas in the domestic regulation, which require improvement in the next four years.

Work is underway to regulate the field of personal data. In particular, it was announced that the relevant law could be amended to provide for a data anonymization mechanism. A companion law to the law “on experimental legal regimes” has also been developed. It will allow to collect and analyze data in order to create and implement medical AI systems. The systems will be developed in accordance with the national standard, the first version of which was also presented in August.


Readiness of state-owned companies to implement AI

The participation of the government in the development of artificial intelligence is not limited to regulation only. Several state-owned companies have announced their readiness to use artificial intelligence for solving their problems.

For example, the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications (Rospechat’) proposed to the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications creating a data service based on AI, which will check the reliability of news. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) plans to use AI to combat prohibited Internet content. The Federal Labor and Employment Service (Rostrud) plans to create a recommendation service for finding suitable vacancies based on the “Jobs in Russia” database.


Unmanned vehicles slowed down

The issue of unmanned vehicles regulation should have been clarified by the end of the summer - it was expected that Vladimir Putin would consider a revised roadmap for the introduction of this type of transport in Russia. Whether it happened or not is unknown, but in any case, the previously determined time frames are shifted again: tests of unmanned cars without drivers in Russia were postponed until 2021.

Meanwhile, Yandex decided not to wait until Russian law would allow driving on public roads without a person driving, and started to test self-driving cars in Michigan. The legislation of the state allows to use cars without the a driver or engineer at the wheel.

According to the survey conducted by NTI “Autonet”, 77% of adult Russians are ready to use unmanned taxis as soon as they appear on public roads. ICT.Moscow compared the data with other studies in this area. The results are as follows:

  • within one year, the readiness of Russians for unmanned vehicles has grown significantly - from 60% to 77%;
  • readiness for autonomous transport in Russia is noticeably higher than in several other countries - for example, in the USA.

Sberbank ecosystem’s achievements

Self-driving vehicles have yet to become a significant part of the ecosystems of Russian companies. However, even without autonomous cars, the area is being developed quite actively. Against this background, Sberbank could come into the spotlight on the international arena in August.

Earlier in August, Sberbank was named the best bank in Central and Eastern Europe for digital banking innovation. One of the projects for which the bank received the award was its biometric facial recognition system. It is being implemented in the company’s ATMs.

VisionLabs, a part of the Sberbank ecosystem that also develops face recognition algorithms, took first place in the testing, that was conducted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, for the third time. The purpose of testing was to determine the most universal algorithms that can work in different application scenarios.

In August, ICT.Moscow studied the development of the ecosystems of Sberbank and its main competitors, Yandex and Mail.ru Group, since November 2019, and the role that AI plays in these ecosystems. Artificial intelligence-related publications about Sberbank were published most often: 32 out of 86 publications included in the monitoring of ecosystems were dedicated to this company (while 25 out of 81 materials were about Yandex, and 18 out of 75 were related to Mail.ru Group).


An increase in AI mentions in the context of ecosystems and cities

At the end of July, Yandex published a study on AI headlines over the past 10 years. ICT.Moscow studied Yandex data and identified several patterns. These trends are as follows

  •  the most rapid growth in mentions of AI in headlines was in 2016-2018. During that period, major players of the IT market, such as Sberbank and Yandex, started to be actively mentioned in the news items;
  • so far, 2020 shows a negative trend in AI mentions in the news headlines (for the first time in 10 years);
  • however, Moscow is mentioned much more often this year than before (approximately a half of one thousand news items were from 2020), and the capital is mentioned more often than other cities.

Original (in Russian)

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