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Regulating the Technological Singularity: How Can We Open Doors to the New?
26 May 2018
11:45—13:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Regulation can’t keep up with fast technological changes

For me, this is the first indication that we no longer understand how this technological singularity arises, what it leads to and that we actually cannot cope with it, as well as what changes it leads to — Dmitry Peskov, Director, Young Professionals Department, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects (Agency for Strategic Initiatives).

Singularity will never be achieved. And science fiction writers specifically warned us: "Know about this, prepare for it, but you will never live to that day." When there something new appears, it gets regulated. And that's why we will never live to the day with no rules or laws — Sergei Kraevoi, Deputy Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation.

Technological singularity is sometimes defined as a horizon, which is a more complex process for governments and institutions, which is difficult to expect and which makes it difficult to understand how it will work as a system — Ashok Rammohan, President for Affiliates in Russia and Belarus, Philip Morris International (PMI).

Technologies develop regardless of regulatory mechanisms

I would not<…> exaggerate the role of law here. <...>It depends. If we address unmanned vehicles, <...> they cannot appear until we change traffic control in our streets. And let’s say, we address cryptocurrency, of course, we can regulate certain things or not, but these processes will happen sooner or later — Igor Drozdov, Chairman of the Board, Skolkovo Foundation.

Market drives innovations

We do not drive innovations, the market does. If you take a look at all technological revolutions, we are talking about is the fourth revolution, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence and Big Data — Meir Pugatch, Professor, University of Haifa.

Fear of new technologies exaggerated

Let’s take cloning and stem cells. We have been afraid that we were going to be cloned, that it was going to be total hell. Yet now we’re cloning organisms for the better of the humanity — Meir Pugatch, Professor, University of Haifa.

ISSUES
Unclear consequences and responsibility

One of the most terrible things about this change is understanding whether singularity is upon us or not. <...> Do we create value for our stakeholders or do we still have to somehow save the world? <...> What level of responsibility do we take in the face of global challenges? — Dmitry Peskov, Director, Young Professionals Department, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects (Agency for Strategic Initiatives).

Undetermined role and place of humans in singularity era

According to the latest data, as far as I know, technological singularity is announced for 2035. <...> It means the person either stops, or coordination and control over technological processes will be significantly hampered, right? The following question arises: who will this role go to? — Ruslan Ibragimov, Member of the Management Board, Vice President for Corporate and Legal Affairs, MTS.

I would like to refer to Article 2 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which declares a person the supreme value. Therefore, at least based on our Constitution, we are not ready to compete with other creatures — Ruslan Ibragimov, Member of the Management Board, Vice President for Corporate and Legal Affairs, MTS.

Creating technologies with obscure practicality

For example, practicality of unmanned vehicles is not self-evident to us at all for the next maybe 5–7 years — Alexander Gurko, President, Non-commercial Partnership for Development and Use of Navigation Technologies (GLONASS UNION).

Regulation to get more complicated

If the regulator keeps up, we will probably get to a bureaucratic singularity rather than a technological one. When laws and regulations change so quickly to keep up with the technologies, they will become so complicated and incomprehensible that we simply won’t be able work with them — Alexander Brychkin, General Director, Russian Textbook Corporation.

SOLUTIONS
Principles of digital industry regulation to change

Regulation should be generally different. We must set goals, objectives and criteria. <...> Set R&D targets for government programmes: what must be achieved there — Grigory Ivliev, Head of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property..

Generally, all that we need is to identify what is that you want to get. Lawyers will check it and tell how this will work and what are potential restrictions. <...> Regulating digitalization and education should not be prescriptive or restrictive, but rather it should rather aim to set goals and create opportunities — Alexander Brychkin, General Director, Russian Textbook Corporation.

Introducing individual regulation mechanisms

We must, probably, make regulation more individual, which would be an important objective — Savva Shipov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Applying innovations to government

If the government is part of the innovation cycle, maybe the authorities will be more flexible in removing barriers — Ashok Rammohan, President for Affiliates in Russia and Belarus, Philip Morris International (PMI).

Creating regulatory conditions for digital platforms

Our task is to create a mechanism to build the ‘sandboxes’ " for specific purposes and make it fast. <...> We must compile a basic master-description for all items possible, which must be identified when setting up the ‘sandbox’, and all possible parameters for these items. And then we need to create a decision-making system: how do we evaluate? Which items do we choose? What are the parameters for being present in the ‘sandbox’ — Savva Shipov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS