Yandex research: AI in Russian media

Widely publicized AI successes – and even a timeline for AI development into Matrix-like overlords based on analysis of Yandex.News headlines for the last 10 years

According to this Wired article – AI Is All the Rage. So Why Aren’t More Businesses Using It? – by Will Knight, only about 9 percent of US firms employ tools like machine learning or voice recognition.

This data from a US Census Bureau study might seem surprising, given media headlines.

Some examples, all of them from Business Insider:

If we look outside of the business-focused media world, some other topics that are mentioned in AI-related articles are:

A recent Yandex.Research report shows how Russian media currently portray AI – and what predictions they make about its development in Russia. If you’re launching an AI-based product for the Russian audience, you might find some surprising discoveries in this report (and, depending on your audience, you might have to adapt your messaging).

AI usage in Russia: current developments and trends

In 2019 AI became one of the priority development spheres in Russia. However, according to this Deutsche Welle article, AI is already being implemented in Russia outside of the tech industry. For example, Sberbank uses AI for hiring and evaluating credit applications. Another AI solution mentioned in the article involves making decisions about expelling students from colleges.

However, despite the fact that AI has already been implemented in banking and education, not to mention other industries, Aleksandr Kraynov, the head of AI Lab at Yandex, says: “Many think that AI is some kind of miracle.”

What does that mean? Read on to find out.

Key successes of AI – as reported by Russian media

According to the Yandex report, most headlines are focused on making AI wins sound as sensational as possible. As a result, in most headlines AI is presented as an agent, “discovering,” “developing,” “creating,” and so on.

Another popular topic is humans losing to AI when playing games. And, just as in the US media, losing jobs to AI is also a concern, in particular for journalists, managers, software engineers, and doctors.

Gadgets with AI, robots and cars are also frequently mentioned in news headlines: about one in 20 articles.

Here are some examples of AI’s successes in the last 10 years:

  • AI creates: songs, movies, recipes, stories, and even poetry
  • AI diagnoses: cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s
  • AI determines: age, emotions (including emotions of school-aged kids)
  • AI recognizes: people (through a wall), criminals (including among school-aged kids)
  • AI predicts: the future (by engaging in child-like playing behavior), contest winners, as well as behavior (of dogs, crowds, and quantum systems)
  • AI finds: new planets, doppelgangers, medicines, and even aliens
  • AI helps: doctors, policemen, farmers, and scientists

According to the research, the most fascinating feature of AI is its ability to get lightning-fast results. Some examples of usage in news articles include catching poachers in less than a second, or destroying cities in a couple of seconds.

AI in Russian media: main trends

AI in Russian media. Source: Yandex report on AI mentions in headlines

AI timeline: headline predictions in Russia

AI-related headlines in Russian media also frequently mention predictions with a specific year.

Based on that, Yandex.Research team has prepared an approximate timeline of what AI (as a personified entity) is going to do in the future.

Here’s an abridged version:

  • 2022: AI learns how to express emotions
  • 2023: causes layoffs in almost 50% of companies
  • 2025: enables banks to save over 70 billion USD
  • 2026: learns how to cure cancer
  • 2028 and 2037 (also 2057): replaces humans
  • 2037: replaces drivers
  • 2039 (also 2062, 2119): becomes smarter than humans
  • 2040: replaces software engineers
  • 2057: destroys humanity
  • 6000: rules the world

Despite this sci-fi perception of AI in the news, for Yandex AI is a tool that’s used in practically all of its solutions, from Alice, its intelligent assistant, to advertising, from search to translation.

Aleksandr Kraynov believes: “Give it time, and AI technologies will become a part of everyday life, just like lightbulbs and power outlets.”

Whether you believe in the Russian media’s predictions, or doubt that AI is going to do all the things the headlines above prophesize, sign up to receive monthly newsletters with tips on marketing in Russia – and using Yandex AI solutions to do so.