Russia’s AI challenge

Russia has unleashed a new strategy to boost AI as both a business tool and a military solution. National bank Sberbank has been given a crucial role in building AI strategy and is helping develop a range of supercomputers to aid AI innovation. We look at Sberbank’s launches and assess the future of Russia’s AI industry and its impact across Europe and globally.


Russia is staking its future on Artificial Intelligence as President Vladimir Putin puts the technology at the heart of the nation’s digital transformation. With the US, China and Europe all investing heavily in AI, the scene is set for a global battle for supremacy. As Putin has said, the nation that leads in AI “will be ruler of the world.”

In a speech to the AI Journey Conference 2020 held in Moscow in December, Putin told 10,000 online delegates that AI is “one of the greatest technologies ever created by humanity.” He promised that AI would become deeply embedded into the nation’s infrastructure as part of a new Russian revolution.

Observers have warned about the use of the technology in military and internal security applications amid fears of a new AI-powered global stand-off. Russia has trialled the Uran-9 unmanned robot tank in Syria and aims to have 30% of combat capability powered autonomously by 2030. But it is in the civil sphere that AI promises a profound transformation of everyday life.

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