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AI research requires additional funding, says Putin

Deputy Prime Minister Maksim Akimov said that financing of the federal project on Artificial Intelligence may total around $1.3 bln within six years if it is approved

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin set the task to significantly increase funding for research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

At the meeting on the development of AI technologies Putin named "creating a completely new fundamental groundwork, mathematical methods, operating principles of AI, including those by analogy with the human brain" among the tasks to be solved in the near future. "Russia should become one of the key platforms for solving complex scientific problems with the participation of scientists from around the world, this work can also be carried out within the framework of international mathematical centers," Putin said. He recalled that in 2020 international mathematical centers will be opened in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.

"It is necessary to multiply funding for AI research, create an incentive for private investment and the development of corporate science, research and development," the President said.

According to him, "Russia objectively has good starting conditions and serious competitive advantages for he solving an ambitious project in the field of AI technology." "Even today, Russia has one of the highest global penetration rates for mobile communications and the Internet, development of electronic services, and the price of network access is one of the lowest in the world," Putin said. He also noted that Russia "relies on traditionally strong scientific and educational schools in mathematics and physics, on a competitive system of training IT specialists." Putin drew attention to the regular victories of Russian students in the programming world championships, this year the Moscow State University team took the first place.

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Maksim Akimov said at the meeting with Putin on Thursday, that financing of the federal project on Artificial Intelligence (AI) may total around 90 bln rubles ($1.3 bln) within six years if it is approved. He addied that the project would be devised by October 2019.

"What measures can that plan with total financing amounting up to 90 bln rubles as we expect within six years include? That envisions providing support to researches in the field of algorithms and mathematical methods, including support to leading think tanks, in the first place. It is necessary to create favorable environment for developing and circulating technologies, subsidize pilot adoptions since that is a risk that private companies should and can share, probably, with public organizations," he said.

The government "will allocate resources for leading companies to create prototypes of the use of artificial intelligence, providing a background for future adoptions," Akimov noted.

"We do not suggest that the work on all other areas of the technological agenda of the ‘Digital economy’ National Project should be halted. We will develop an additional federal project shortly, we plan to do that no later than by October 2019," he said.