Chinese venture capital could play key role in driving growth of Russia's capital-thirsty AI start-ups

By Chu Daye Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/24 22:58:40

Visitors at the 5th exhibition of robotics and advanced technologies, Robotics Expo in Moscow. File photo: VCG

When artificial intelligence (AI) proceeds to actual application, China and Russia will benefit from their engineers, entrepreneurs as well as the foreign and vast domestic market. China could therefore leapfrog the US as the world's AI leader, said a top Russian AI expert.

"China has a huge industrial and consumer market, where new technologies and solutions are in high demand. Russia has developed one of the world's strongest mathematics schools. That is why AI is one of the obvious areas for Sino-Russian cooperation," said Konstantin Gorbach, AI business director of Russian industrial digitalization technology firm Zyfra.

The comments come amid rising calls by officials and experts from the two countries to develop high-tech cooperation, with AI as a major focus, to generate new mutual benefits. 

Chinese Ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, said at an investment forum in October that the two countries should increase the quality of bilateral cooperation and treat the digital economy as a new growth engine. AI was identified by Li as an opportunity, along with big data, the internet and smart cities.

"Russia's share of the AI market is obviously small, but the market is constantly growing. Such technological collaboration can be a point for growth in collaboration between the two countries in the future," Gorbach told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Zyfra is hoping to connect China's extensive metallurgy plants with sensors and form an industrial internet of things that gives plant managers much better control of machines.

Global GDP was forecast to increase by 14 percent because of AI in 2030, according to a report by PwC in June 2017.
Newspaper headline: Chinese venture capital plays key role in AI cooperation with Russia


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