A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 155 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Talk to Me: AI and Voice Technologies in Business
3 June 2021
17:00—18:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Voice technologies solve different issues – from entertainment to protection against fraud

Voice assistants are gaining prominence all over the world [...] The development of this assistant [the ‘Oleg’ telephone secretary] continues [...] and is also turning it into [...] a kind of antivirus in the phone, with protection against spam, fraud, and everything — Kirill Petrov, Co-Founder, Managing Director, Just AI Limited.

Voice technology is not just a bot that says something […] It’s the so-called voice identification of the client […] Because a person […] can never understand online whether the voice is the same or not on the fly. A machine can […] There is a call quality control process [...] If there is suddenly some inconsistency in the procedure in the call, we can flag this call, and then a person will listen to it manually and make a decision — Stanislav Bliznyuk, Chairman of the Management Board, Tinkoff Bank.

Whereas in the past the interfaces were visual and evolved and changed, now they have started being supplemented with conversational interfaces. And not just by commands, but by casual speech and natural language, when we can communicate with the machine, communicate with objects around, and communicate with our home — Kirill Petrov, Co-Founder, Managing Director, Just AI Limited.

AI adds value to business

These systems are being introduced […] for a reason. It’s a question, including the complex cost of business, not for the current moment, but for a horizon of 5–10 years […] The main currency in this regard is […] the amount of data and the ability to train your AI. Data access is the currency of the next decade […] And when we are evaluated as a company that has soared ten times in value in a year, we have soared in value not because our turnover has skyrocketed ten-fold […], but because the data that we have amassed is unique […] and we have created uniquely smart brains — Olga Uskova, Founder, President, Cognitive Technologies.

When we entered this threshold, we were solving an exclusively practical issue [...] We started by solving some local issues of our own, investing intellect and capital, and we generated value from this. Then we started to make voice technologies [...] and now we already understand that it is a competitive advantage [...] Those who own this technology and those who can create various ser-vices and products will ultimately be the innovator and trend-setter for the market — Stanislav Bliznyuk, Chairman of the Management Board, Tinkoff Bank.

The economic factor is the most important for us […] We take a pragmatic view of this [...] We in-troduced all these algorithms in 2020 and generated an effect of about RUB 7 billion in EBITDA, in particular, from the automation of commercial solutions. This year it will be 2.5 times more […] It’s a question of the potential to replace human-made decisions with artificial intelligence. It radically changes the economy and retail model — Vladimir Salakhutdinov, director of Strategy and Business Development, Member of Management Board X5 Retail Group.

Russia is among the leaders in AI

We are used to studying abroad [...] When we started dealing with AI and digitalization issues, we were surprised to discover that in some things we weren’t just ahead of them [...] but, in principle, we were setting ourselves tasks that they [foreign companies] had not yet set for themselves to-day […] We share our technologies and know-how to accelerate their development [...] This is a situation when ideas and their successful implementation were born here, and then they gradually become a practice for the whole world — Vladimir Salakhutdinov, director of Strategy and Business Development, Member of Management Board X5 Retail Group.

ISSUES
Humans do not control AI decision-making mechanisms

These technologies are a ‘black box’ […] This is why such problems as cyber security arise. And as we transfer more powers and critical functions to machines, we don’t know what dangers we may face. It’s important to find certain trajectories in order to look inside the ‘black box’. This is why we aren’t solving a business problem, but a technical and scientific problem. If we can’t find a solution, then we won’t be able to apply the appropriate technologies — Nicolas Miailhe, Co-Founder, President, Future Society.

In our work, we encounter a machine taking decisions that we have not programmed […] It’s not all that scary. It’s not completely a ‘black box’ since we are following an anthropomorphic model […] You have a ‘black box’ inside that prepares action scenarios for you, the same way artificial in-telligence systems are arranged. There’s no need to be afraid of this. You need to learn how to operate with it — Olga Uskova, Founder, President, Cognitive Technologies.

We don’t understand the granularity of how these recommendations are made [which produce algorithms]. And we need to take systemic risk to build trust. The more we transition to recom-mendations based on deep learning, the more the question arises of who we serve and how we can prove it. If we can’t prove it, we have a problem — Nicolas Miailhe, Co-Founder, President, Future Society.

The development of AI can lead to unpredictable consequences

At present, the technologies that we know have learned to put sentences together, and they are now learning to recognize the territory of meanings. The next stage, when a robot emerges be-yond this territory of meaning as an individual guided entity, this is precisely be when emotions are generated [...] This is a rather complicated story because a machine can lie. It can generate [...] fake content on its own — Olga Uskova, Founder, President, Cognitive Technologies.

People aren’t ready to use AI technologies in certain situations

We put voice services into [self-service checkout] and it does not work […] People are embar-rassed to speak. This is a unique thing […] Almost 80–90% of people answered that ‘we would like to use it, but we are embarrassed’ — Vladimir Salakhutdinov, director of Strategy and Business Development, Member of Management Board X5 Retail Group.

SOLUTIONS
People will gradually get used to smart technologies

Over time, people will be increasingly using all sorts of different devices [...] Eventually, organiza-tions will appear, I hope, and we will also have examples of algorithms when you trust a robot be-cause this is a more correct algorithm. Over time, people will start to get used to it, and they are already getting used to it. There are already a lot of aspects that we can’t rule out — Stanislav Bliznyuk, Chairman of the Management Board, Tinkoff Bank.

Voice technologies are becoming more ‘emotional’, which inspires user confidence

Once the switch takes place and a robot actually has some kind of emotional [side], even apologiz-es, and somehow even feels a little ashamed, this will have an absolutely amazing effect [...] This very emotion is the area that can radically improve the effect of all voice services — Vladimir Salakhutdinov, director of Strategy and Business Development, Member of Management Board X5 Retail Group.

In terms of speech synthesis, technology is being developed to make them all the more emotion-al. And now more and more intonations, nuances, and tones in voices are transmitted by modern speech synthesis systems […] The same thing happens in terms of speech synthesis and the un-derstanding of meaning […] In about 5 years, we will already have very complex cases — Kirill Petrov, Co-Founder, Managing Director, Just AI Limited.

Thoroughly test and validate AI technologies

The functioning of the ‘black box’ needs to be checked. And, if possible, slow down the application of these technologies used in neural networks — Nicolas Miailhe, Co-Founder, President, Future Society.

There are really important, narrowly focused solutions that truly improve processes […] And then there is […] an ecosystem that creates a fog from which we won’t necessarily have a positive way out. Because if something is launched with errors, unfinished or raw, and at such a level of a global system, the cost of this error will also be globally systemic — Olga Uskova, Founder, President, Cognitive Technologies.