Russia's AI ambitions: Putin highlights need for homegrown technology

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.27 - 2023 8:59 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a recent AI conference in Moscow, emphasized the need for Russia to develop its own artificial intelligence technology.

He expressed concerns over the Western monopoly in the AI field, particularly highlighting the bias in Western search engines and generative models against Russian culture.

Putin criticized these Western AI systems for being trained predominantly on Western data and catering primarily to Western markets, often neglecting or ignoring Russian cultural aspects.

He termed the Western dominance in AI technology as "unacceptable, dangerous, and inadmissible" for Russia.

Amidst the backdrop of heightened tensions due to Moscow's military actions in Ukraine, the Russian tech industry has faced significant challenges.

Thousands of IT professionals have left the country, and sanctions have limited access to essential computer components. In response, Putin has been vocal about Russia's need to reduce its reliance on Western technology, urging investment in the development of supercomputers and AI research.

The success of ChatGPT, a generative chatbot launched last year, has intensified the global AI race.

This has prompted tech giants like Google to expedite their AI projects, with venture capitalists investing heavily in various AI initiatives.

In line with these developments, Sber, Russia's largest banking company, announced the launch of "Gigachat," its own conversational AI application.

However, it is currently available only in a test mode. Putin's call for AI advancement is seen as a strategic move to ensure Russia's competitiveness in this rapidly evolving tech domain.

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