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The Russia Studies Program
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The Artificial Intelligence in Russia newsletter features a summary of recent Russian-language reports on the Russian AI and autonomy ecosystem, divided into the following sections:

  • Governance and Legal Developments
  • Military and Security Developments
  • Corporate and Market Developments
  • Education and Training Developments
  • Spotlight: Advanced Research Foundation

The following preview shows the first item in this issue:

1. “Digital Economy” national program continues to evolve

According to reports, in early June, Russia’s Ministry of Communications informed Russia’s regions about potential changes in the indicators, goals, and tasks of the “Digital Economy” national program that could take effect as early as September 2020. (See issues 3 and 4 of AI in Russia for past coverage of the “Digital Economy” national program.) The changes first need to be considered and approved by the presidential council on strategic development and national projects before they are communicated to the regions. Proposed changes related to AI include the following:

  • An expansion of the “AI” federal project into an “AI and digital technologies” project. A new goal for that project may also include “the creation of regulatory, financial, and technological conditions for development and speedier incorporation of Russian goods, services, solutions on the basis of digital technologies, including AI, in the economy and social sphere.”
  • The addition of seven new indicators to “AI and digital technologies”: “number of software applications in the register of Russian software (per year); volume of external investors involved in projects, financed by state venture funds in the information technology sphere (in billions of rubles); number of IT solutions prototyped and IT solutions implemented, developed by companies (including small businesses) that have received support in the context of high-technology development; growth of the volume of sales of Russian software (per year); share of medium and large companies utilizing AI-based solutions (percentage); creation of innovative digital technologies, including AI, largely based on Russian developments; and a complex system of financing projects in development and (or) implementation of digital technologies and platform-based solutions, including venture financing and other development institutions.”

A June 23 report in Rossiyskaya Gazeta estimated the national program’s 2020 budget to be 498.2 million rubles (over 7 million USD). It also noted concern by some industry representatives, who provide input into program development through a specially created coordinating body, that the national project has been rewritten too often. For instance, the head of the “Information Security” working group, Natalia Kasperskaya, was quoted as saying that “if you keep changing priorities, goals, tasks, milestones, and activities, it will be difficult to achieve anything.” She also posited that successful implementation of the national program would require more funding.

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DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited. 7/10/2020


  • Pages: 24
  • Document Number: DOP-2020-U-026223-Final6
  • Publication Date: 7/10/2020
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