The future in AI style: A youth session of EMERTECH-2020 was held at the Gorchakov Fund

06 December 2019

Is it right to nationalize artificial intelligence (AI)? Where will the arms race in high technologies bring us to? How to benefit from the synthesis of technologies and politics? A discussion about the world in the era of digits has taken place today at the Gorchakov Fund: a youth session of EMERTECH 2019 was organized with the support of the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAS). The event with the participation of young experts was held as part of the third international conference “Emerging Technologies: Societal Challenges and Global Governance” (EMERTECH 2019). Participants of the event included students, young researchers, and experts in AI and international relations.

Daria Lobanova, Deputy Executive Director/Programs Director of the Gorchakov Fund, said that at present digitization was one of the most popular topics, including from the perspective of international relations. Several events dedicated to the problem of changing the world order in the era of new technologies have already been organized at the Gorchakov Fund.

Head of Science and Innovations Unit at IMEMO RAS Ivan Danilin during his presentation focused on competitiveness of Russian technologies in the global market. According to him, Russia has promising opportunities; however, certain elements of the national policy in that area interfere with their development: “Russian economic principles are not aimed at development of new technologies and we are not doing enough to change the situation.” At the same time, there are individual examples of work done by Russian companies, which target creation of an expert pool of the new generation, which is capable of creating new IT services.

AI systems expert Roman Danilin introduced the audience to new terms in international relations associated with the AI era:

  1. AI nationalism: modern countries, after having realized all the power and danger of technologies, begin restricting their development to the area within their borders;

  2. AI nationalization: according to authorities, companies, which are active in AI, should be guided by national interests of the countries, on the territories of which they work;

  3. AI neocolonialism: when using imported technology solutions in AI, a country is at risk of becoming a hostage of somebody else’s interests.

According to Associate Professor of the Institute of Economy, Mathematics and Information Technologies at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA) Dmitry Stefanovsky, in order to understand the situation in the market of high technologies, we should apply concepts “right” and “opportunity”: “Russia has an opportunity, but do we have a right to compete in the foreign market?”

Director of the Institute of Economic Strategies RAS Alexander Ageyev called artificial intelligence a major trend of the global technological development. “AI and its derivatives are becoming not only main means of economic growth and improvement of social wealth, but also a very powerful weapon in confrontation of the world superpowers”, emphasized the speaker. The countries, which will be the first to introduce standards of the new lifestyle and consciousness, will make their hegemony last for a long time.