Sber presents its AI outlook during meeting for CIS security council secretaries

Nov 19, 2020

Herman Gref, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank, has participated in the eighth meeting for security council secretaries of CIS nations and spoke about artificial intelligence (AI), its evolution in Russia and around the world, its use in national security strategies, and the examples of AI use in real life such as computer vision, speech recognition and synthesis, natural language processing, recommender systems, and decision support systems.

According to Herman Gref, more than 35 countries, including Russia, have adopted their national AI development strategies, and the aggregate AI spending worldwide is projected to reach RUB50 bln in 2020. Active geopolitical players like the US, China, the UK, Japan, India, France, Germany, Canada, and the EU in general have given AI a top priority in their national security strategies and are investing billions in long-term AI programs.

Herman Gref, CEO, Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank:

“Artificial intelligence is already changing our world and will change it even more as we move forward. AI use has succeeded in healthcare, education, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, telecom, trade, and, of course, security. AI has become a mature industrial technology that helps to save time, resolve complex professional problems, and makes life much easier for people.”

The CEO of the bank gave a lot of examples of the integration of AI-based technologies, many of which are being designed, piloted, and adopted by Sber. Biometric solutions are being successfully used across verticals, from customer identification to catching criminals. Computer analysis of medical imaging identifies pathologies. Taxis, harvesters, and drones are becoming unmanned. Psycho-emotional analysis of facial expressions and human movements helps law enforcement agencies and marketing services.

Speech recognition and synthesis are basic components of voice assistants, which are increasingly included in our everyday life. This technology is also used for electronic health record interactions through voice that simplifies the work of doctors. Natural language processing creates new opportunities for communication and search, moderation, and text generation. Recommender systems are used in the entertainment and contextual advertising industries, while predictive analytics unlocks great opportunities for improving operational efficiency, assessing possible reactions, and weather forecasting. Anomaly detection allows stakeholders to prevent atypical transactions and user actions, protecting their money from criminals.

Automated machine learning (AutoML), using small data sets to train AI models (this is how children learn), and creating Artificial General Intelligence that’ll manage to deal with a big pool of issues better than human professionals do are the frontiers that scientists are set to push back.

Furthermore, Herman Gref outlined the milestones of AI evolution in Russia, which is taking place largely due to Sber – the nationwide center for AI competencies. 

In October 2019, by order of the president of Russia the National AI Development Strategy 2030 was adopted. Later on, the Artificial Intelligence national project was approved to support the introduction of AI into operations, development of AI startups, R&D centers, and educational institutions, the supply of equipment, regulation, and promotion of AI.

Last year, Sber, Yandex, MTS, Mail.ru Group, Gazpromneft, and Russian Direct Investment Fund forged an AI Alliance. Its mission is to be an AI development center in Russia, ensuring the technological leadership of the nation and its member companies in the global technological market.

At the end of his presentation, Herman Gref invited the meeting participants to visit Sber’s Security Operation Center where cutting-edge AI technology is used to repel and prevent cyberattacks. Sberbank CEO also mentioned the upcoming international AI/DS conference Artificial Intelligence Journey, which Sber is holding online between December 3 and 5 with domestic and overseas partners. This year the event will consist of an online AI contest; AI Journey Junior, an online conference for middle and high school students; and a three-day online conference on solutions in machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, neuromorphic and heterogeneous computing, to name a few.