A few years after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that whoever leads in artificial intelligence will “dominate the world,” Russia appears to be making a bid to do just that, with the creation of a formidable research apparatus drawing on leading technical experts from across academia and industry, backed by substantial state resources, and with the participation of Chinese tech giant Huawei — as well as American companies(!). Defense One reports that the effort is centered on an elite technical university, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technologies, which was chosen to play host to the new Center for Artificial Intelligence in 2017. Some interesting details about its achievements to date, per Defense One:
- The MIPT CAI’s areas of focus include “conversational artificial intelligence, neural networks, deep machine learning, machine translation, text and speech recognition, technical vision, and neuromorphic and quantum research;… unmanned vehicles, androids, medical devices;… [and] smart networks for energy and communications.”
- In June Amazon awarded a $250,000 grant to MIPT to continue participating in Amazon’s Alexa “socialbot” technology competition.
- An MIPT team also placed among five finalists named by Google in a competition for the best machine learning and speech recognition systems.
- MIPT also anchors a new AI research center funded by Russia’s dominant social media company, VKontakte.