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Artificial intelligence in Ukraine: state concept, series, reality?

Photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

2020 was marked not only by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also by an active support for artificial intelligence development. Quarantine has significantly accelerated the work on launching intelligent services and automating processes around the world.


Deepfakes, taxis and jet aircrafts

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Thus, Gartner called hyper-automation the main technological trend of 2020. And according to Forrester Research, the main danger on the Internet will be deepfakes, that this year will firmly establish themselves in the global information field and in the future will pose a significant danger to both politics and business.

All major players in the global IT arena focused their efforts to artificial intelligence development in 2020. At the beginning of the year, the European Commission decided to increase investment in AI development by more than six times, that is up to 20 billion euros per year.

However, at the same time, the EU decided to limit artificial intelligence in high-risk industries. For example, AI used in the fields of healthcare and transportation should be as transparent as possible and easily controlled by humans.

Great Britain also is not immune, however, against the backdrop of Brexit, it made a choice in favor of the American approach to IT and agreed with the States on cooperation in the AI development.

The United States allowed artificial intelligence to rummage through its old documents and put in order government regulations highlighting conflicting or outdated requirements they contain.

And the global aviation concern Boeing in 2020 proved the success of the drones interaction using artificial intelligence.

QuoteIn 2020, the first self-driving taxi was launched in Shanghai, and in the US, AI sorted through government documents.

During the course of their most recent test in Australia, 5 jet aircrafts were able to successfully operate in a team under the control of AI, performing coordinated actions at a speed of 270 km/h.

In China, tech companies have gone further and offered schools their own robotics curricula as well as artificial intelligence-related educational materials in the hopes of raising a new generation of developers.

In addition, in 2020, the first self-driving taxi was launched in Shanghai. The DiDi service launched free smart car rounds in order to popularize the use of AI in passenger transportation.

However, it is worth noting that DiDi self-driving cars are still accompanied by people who are responsible for the passengers’ safety and are able to take control of the vehicle if necessary.

In Russia, AI was first forced to work for law enforcement by launching in Moscow a service for video recording of wanted persons. And then they offered to take away from artificial intelligence the copyright for the content it creates—just in case.


AI concept from The Ministry of Digital Transformation


Last week, Ukraine finally joined this trend by approving the Concept for Artificial Intelligence Development until 2030.

QuoteWithin 15 years, Ukraine hopes to enter the top ten countries with the highest level of AI development.

According to a study by Oxford Insights and International Development Research Centre Government AI Readiness Index 2020, our country has the largest number of AI development companies in Eastern Europe.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation believes that if Ukraine helps these companies to realize their full potential, we will very soon be able to claim leadership in the AI field in the international arena.

According to the AI development concept, one of the tasks for Ukraine for the next 15 years is to enter the top ten countries with the highest level of artificial intelligence development in the world (AI Readiness Index by Oxford Insights, AI Index by Stanford University).

Vitalii Honcharuk (Augmented Pixels), head of the expert committee for AI development under the Ministry of Digital Transformation, believes that the adoption of the state concept for AI development by Ukraine will help to interest global corporations in opening R&D centers in our country.


Series about AI for dummies

In order to explain to Ukrainians why the country needs to develop artificial intelligence, the Ministry of Digital Transformation even released an educational series.

There are many examples of the artificial intelligence algorithms usage that help doctors, engineers, the military, and other professionals. Thanks to the educational series, Ukrainians will be able to get to know more about this fascinating subject.

Valeriya Ionan

Valeriya Ionan

Deputy Minister for Eurointegration at Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine

There are only four episodes in the new series of Ministry of Digital Transformation, each 10-12 minutes long. They can be viewed free of charge after registration on the platform "Diia. Digital Education". In addition, the first episode has already been uploaded to YouTube.

The entire course is targeted primarily at those who are poorly guided in the subject of IT.

In particular, the series raises questions about whether it is worth waiting for the Terminator, what benefits artificial intelligence brings, what risks are associated with the use of AI, as well as how and for what purpose artificial intelligence is used by Ukrainian and international companies.

In the information field of Ukraine, such terms as "artificial intelligence", "machine learning", "algorithms for working with BigData" are widespread, explained Viktor Liakh, CEO of the Eastern Europe Foundation, to The Page.

Like every new technology, artificial intelligence is overgrown with myths—from the rise of machines to the fact that it will soon rule the world.

When we were creating this series, we wanted to explain the current status of the AI creation, in what areas it can be applied, and also to debunk all existing myths.

Victor Liakh

Victor Liakh

SEO of the Eastern Europe Foundation

The plans of the foundation and the ministry are to adapt the course on artificial intelligence for high school students, he said, but he chose not to share the details of this initiative.


AI for mobile operators


Mobile operators already are using solutions based on artificial intelligence, said Dmytro Sulima, head of the Lifecell business support systems administration department.

For example, they are used in the work of a call center to establish interaction with subscribers using a chatbot in order to improve customer service and fight fraud.

This area is rapidly developing all over the world, and for the industry, artificial intelligence can optimize many processes: monitoring network infrastructure and managing its operation, predicting possible network failures and preventing them, developing various security solutions.

Dmytro Sulima

Dmytro Sulima

Head of the Lifecell business support systems administration department

He also noted that solutions based on artificial intelligence will allow Ukrainian mobile operators to be faster, more up-to-date and efficient.

Besides, by analyzing data using artificial intelligence, operators will be able to provide the most relevant services and tariffs for subscribers, and, possibly, form the most relevant individual offers.

As in other areas, in telecom companies, artificial intelligence can work with the selection and assessment of personnel, automate various processes, for example, data analysis and collection.


Defense, education and agro-industrial complex


The concept for the artificial intelligence industry in Ukraine, drawn up by the Ministry of Digital Transformation, implies its use in education, economics, public administration, cyber security and even defense.

It is proposed to allocate 14,4 million hryvnias for the creation of a public administration system in the field of AI until 2023.

Technologies related to computer vision, machine learning, big data, as well as chatbots are already being used in any sphere in Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for IT Development, Oleksandr Bornyakov noted in a comment to The Page.

All of this is artificial intelligence. Our farmers use a variety of AI technologies. For example, for the analysis of aerial and photographs of fields, for predicting the yield, the need for additional seeding, detecting harm or visually weighing the cattle mass.

Oleksandr Bornyakov

Oleksandr Bornyakov

Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation

In addition, chatbots are now massively used in small businesses to reduce the cost of communicating with customers, allowing significant savings in support/call center staff and other costs, he added.


This is just the beginning

Artificial intelligence is not a technology that immediately begins to work effectively, so everything is just beginning for Ukrainian business.

Dmytro Ponomarenko, Strategy Director of Vodafone Ukraine, commented this to The Page.

Dmytro Ponomarenko
Dmytro Ponomarenko
Strategy Director of Vodafone Ukraine

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are some of the hype technologies that are now actively used in consumer technology (smartphones, robotic vacuum cleaners, bots in games, automatic translators).

But if we talk about business in Ukraine, I can say that this is just the beginning here.

The exceptions are technology companies with continuous iterative development and businesses that are parts of international groups, and that gives them priority access to innovation.

It often takes months, if not years, to achieve the desired effect in the work of AI.

According to Ponomarenko, his companies have been honing their algorithms for several years in order to achieve maximum accuracy of big data analytics forecasting.

But now, by indirect signs, it is possible with a high probability to determine what target audience this or that user belongs to, and offer them the product that might really interest them.

Artificial intelligence already exists in the world. and that allows to prevent strokes by sending a warning to the patient's therapist about a probable threat, based on monitoring a number of everyday indicators of the body's activity.

There are smart cars and programs that can detect a subject or object in the metropolis video surveillance systems. There are many solutions based on "smart home", as well as communication systems that can be compared to a person in "live" communication on the network or over the phone. We have just to work on this in Ukraine as well.