Category: News


Tatiana Ershova took part in the discussion of the new version of the portal of state services on the air of the radio “Govorit Moskva”

On April 2, 2021, at 16:00, the Information Channel program went on the air on the “Govorit Moskva” (Moscow Speaking) radio. The host of the program, Yuri Budkin, asked Tatiana Ershova, IIS general director and the chief editor of the scientific and analytical journal “Information Society”.

First question: Why do you think the new version was made? Previous services weren’t good enough?

T. Ershova assessed them as quite good, but the main task is to attract the entire population to the portal of public services, and it should be understandable to ordinary users. Everything should be clea to an ordinary person. Therefore, the idea of ​​the assistant – and in the new version it is the cute robot Max – is good and correct. While Max does not have a voice, he can only correspond with the user, suggest something, but in the near future he will have a voice and it will be possible to talk to him. It would be nice if Max was not intrusive. If he really helps, it will be great. The new portal has simpler logic in general, and that’s great. I myself am quite qualified and, I would say, advanced user, but I am very glad that everything is going along the path of simplification. The portal can be actively used by older people, people with disabilities, migrants and other categories of the population who may now have difficulties. There will also be versions in other languages.

Second question: Can we expect the expansion of the portal’s capabilities?

T. Ershova replied: “Certainly. I am a digital optimist, and I believe that everything will only develop. Already now you can see some improvements: as soon as you start writing something in the input line, prompt options immediately pop up. They may not always be accurate yet, but in most cases they are still very useful. The range of services will, of course, expand throughout life. The use of artificial intelligence and big data technologies opens up great opportunities here.”

Third question: Can we say that now the portal of public services works more or less without interruptions?

T. Ershova noticed that there are failures, and no one is ever insured against them. Therefore, they switch to the new version because the old one does not always withstand peak loads. The portal inside should be more complicated than it is now, but outside, on the contrary, it should be easier. This is exactly the slogan of the developers of the new version. If the government wants the portal to be used by everyone, then the hardware and software to support it must be very powerful and reliable so that it does not fall under heavy loads.

The fourth question: The promised traffic of 50-60 million users – is it really, as they say, quite enough?

According to T. Ershova, this is enough for now, but more is needed. After all, Russia is a civilized country and is moving very quickly along the path of digital development.

You can listen to the recording of the program by following the link


IIS leading experts participated in the discussion of big data ethics

On March 31, the Committee on Industrial and Innovation Policy of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) together with the National Center for Digital Economy (NCDE) of Moscow State University held a webinar on the ethics of using big data. The event was attended by representatives of Sber, Skoltech, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, the World Bank, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Information Society (IIS), etc.

The moderator of the first part of the webinar was Mikhail Kogan, Chairman of the MCCI Committee on Industrial and Innovation Policy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC “Kalibr”, moderator of the panel discussion was Yuri Hohlov, Chairman of IIS Board of directors, Head of the Subcommittee “Data” of the Technical Committee “Artificial Intelligence “(TC 164), head of the project of the NTI Competence Center on Big Data Storage and Analytics Technologies at the Lomonosov Moscow State University).

According to the MCCI vice president Suren Vardanyan, the discussed topic is “painful for many people, especially for the younger generation, which is increasingly asking the question:“ Where is my personal life? Where is that very personal space of mine, which is not subject to general disclosure?”.

Andrey Neznamov, managing director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI) regulation of Sber, spoke about the development of AI in Russia and its regulation in his report. The speaker recalled that in 2020 the federal project “Artificial Intelligence” was adopted: Sber is the center of competence in this area.

“One of the key challenges in the field of data is to develop regulation so as, on the one hand, to guarantee the rights of our citizens at the highest level. On the other hand, not to put any unreasonable obstacles to the development of artificial intelligence technologies,” Andrei Neznamov is sure.

According to him, the normative regulation of AI in Russia is actively developing, while the Russian side should be actively involved in the work of the relevant international bodies. It is very important to develop regulation for depersonalization and anonymization of personal data, as well as for cloud computing. At the same time, it should not complicate data regulation for national AI developers. The development of legislation for unmanned vehicles and healthcare requires special attention. It is also important to synchronize legislative initiatives with the industry community and conduct joint events.

Maxim Fedorov, vice president for AI and Mathematical Modeling at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), made a presentation on Russian experience in shaping the ethical principles of using AI technologies and big data on international platforms. The expert, in particular, represented Russia in a special expert group of UNESCO on the preparation of Recommendations in the field of AI ethics.

Describing the trends in the development of AI, the speaker noted that there is a risk of violation of human rights through the uncontrolled influence of AI systems on them. Another trend is the need to formulate global norms for the use of AI technologies. The consequences of the adopted rules will be comprehensive.

Universal international standards in the field of ethics for the implementation and use of AI are being developed at UNESCO, ISO/IEC and many other international platforms. Among the priorities for the development of such norms:

1) transparency and explainability;
2) stability, reliability and safety;
3) human-centered approach.

At the same time, discussions raise questions about the subjectivity or objectivity of AI, global mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating regulation, data protection and the “digital sovereignty” of countries.

Assessing international activities in the field of AI ethics, the speaker drew attention to the following: “There is a politicization of issues, a large number of distortions in international cooperation, which requires consolidation of opinion within the country on our position on the ethics of using artificial intelligence, on the regulation of cross-border issues related to data transfer, and much more … It is also important to get a consolidated position from the business.”

Ivan Begtin, Director of ANO “Information Culture”, on the example of various countries and companies highlighted the topic of ethical aspects of data use.

The speaker listed the concerns of citizens in the field of big data ethics: growing digital divide (more data gives more opportunities to those who have more money and knowledge of how to use data); “Re-identification” (repeated identification of a citizen by indirect data, reproduction of his personal data); privacy violations, new forms of discrimination and new types of data crimes.

The existing problems, according to Ivan Begin, cannot be solved with the help of codes of ethics: “When we talk about various kinds of ethical restrictions, codes of ethics, it is important to remember that, firstly, of course, states often follow the non-regulation model, but using the same technologies that are used by large commercial businesses (that is, using the same practices with the same consequences). Secondly, all the initiatives that come from business are attempts to smooth the future state regulation, which is now more limited by the qualifications of the training of rule-makers than by social demand, because there is actually a social demand for this.”

This was followed by a panel discussion. The main questions for discussion were voiced by Yuri Hohlov:

1) If theoretical principles of self-regulation in working with big data are developed, how likely is it that these principles will be followed?
2) Is it necessary to introduce into the regulatory framework the requirements for developers of technologies, algorithms, services for working with big data to implement these principles in solutions?
3) To what extent is it possible to formalize these ethical principles within the framework of certain big data processing technologies?

Vera Adaeva, director of the digital development center of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, shared Ivan Begtin’s point of view, according to which the problems of using big data will not be solved thanks to codes of ethics.

“Today, our main limitation in terms of regulatory regulation is the issue of lack of competencies in the technological sphere, because some people are involved in the regulation, technologies are developed by completely different people. The issue of suppressing these two communities is probably one of the most important tasks,” believes Vera Adaeva.

Yaroslav Eferin, World Bank digital transformation consultant, mentioned: “It may be appropriate to talk about the establishment of certain rules of conduct for each Internet resource, for each technology company that releases its products and services that affect such sensitive issues related to personal data, ethical / unethical online behavior. By visiting, users already, in fact, agree or disagree with the company’s policy … As for the role of the state, it may not establish specific ethical norms, standards of conduct, but rather recommend the participants of the entire digital ecosystem to develop their own rules of conduct on their sites.”

“The sooner we come to at least a consensus on definitions, classifications, principles, the easier it will be for debates and discussions to turn into some kind of real action. It is obvious that ethics is important for all groups (for the government, for business, for citizens, for science), it should be openly discussed so that we really come to understand how to go,” Yaroslav Eferin emphasized.

Alexander Raikov, head of NCDE department of cognitive technologies, leading researcher at the V.A. Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of IIS Supervisory board, believes that the issue of compliance with ethical principles requires consideration of individual examples: “The perception of ethical principles largely depends on personalities, from nationalities, from types of activities …”

The expert also touched upon the topic of the possible emergence of a strong AI, the power of which will be several orders of magnitude greater compared to modern AI: “At the moment the advent of strong artificial intelligence is not dangerous, I think. It is constrained by the binary (or digital) basis of all our computing technology, which is unlikely to change in the coming years, and the inclusion of human collaborations in the decision-making process.”

Continuing this thought, Yuri Hohlov added: “While we are in this hybrid situation, ethical principles will largely come from people, but it seems to me that some of these principles may well be implemented and fixed in the form of certain restrictions in algorithms in order to remove this routine too, not to leave a person before an ethical choice of what to do in a given situation, when there are a huge number of such options. Further, the issues of formation / standardization of requirements for data sets that will be collected by federal executive authorities can be considered.”

At the end of the webinar, Mikhail Kogan expressed his readiness to continue a series of events on artificial intelligence and big data technologies.

Tatiana Ershova, IIS general director, took part in the event as a listener.

Source: Site of the NTI Competence Center on Big Data Storage and Analysis Technologies


IIS leaders took part in the round table of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies “The role of digital technologies in stimulating economic growth”

On March 25, 2021, a round table meeting was held at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), which examined various aspects of digitalization, the advantages and challenges associated with the widespread use of digital technologies.

Opening remarks were made by Igor Sevastyanov, deputy head of the RISS Research coordination center.

Further, the participants discussed the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector, the contribution of digital technologies to ensuring competitiveness and increasing labor productivity, as well as the possible negative consequences of the introduction of digital technologies for the economy and society. The experts paid special attention to the risks associated with the digitalization process, which may pose a threat to the national interests of individual countries.

In particular, academician Vladimir Betelin, scientific director of the Federal Scientific Center “Research Institute for System Research” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke about the risks of global digitalization of strategically important facilities in Russia (in the videoconference mode).

Director of the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (CEMI RAS), professor Albert Bakhtizin also made a remote report on the topic “Digital technologies and issues of national security.”

Ivan Danilin, head of the Science and innovation department of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, made a remote presentation on the impact of Internet platforms on inclusive growth and small business.

Nikolai Akhapkin, head of the Center for socio-economic development at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke about the risks and benefits of the digital transformation of the Russian labor market.

Mikhail Belyaev, the leading expert of the Center for coordination research of RISS, highlighted the topic “International trade in the context of digitalization”.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute of the Information Society (IIS), full member of the Russian Engineering Academy, member of the Bureau of the Section “Information Systems, Computing and Electronic Engineering, Communications and Telecommunications” Yuri Hohlov, together with IIS general director Tatiana Ershova, remotely discussed approaches to monitoring digital transformation of the economy sectors, social sectors and public administration and the first results of such monitoring.

The authors noted the importance of studying not only digital transformation processes, but also their impact on socio-economic development. This impact does not become noticeable immediately and does not always have a direct relationship with the effort and the investment made. For example, the first approaches to the development of artificial intelligence technologies were developed in the middle of the last century, but we were able to take advantage of the results only today thanks to the emergence of networks, powerful computers, tools for working with data, and the development of competencies. And we will be able to observe the effects after a while, although some are already noticeable. Likewise, the effects of other cross-cutting technologies, some of which we call “disruptive”, will emerge at a time when these technologies reach a certain level of maturity and begin to be widely used.

Since the launch of the digital economy development program in our country, IIS, together with its partners, began to actively deal with the problems of monitoring the development and use of digital technologies. At the forefront was the question: what influences these processes make and what dividends can be derived from this for the economy and society.

In March 2017, the World Bank took the initiative to develop a methodology for assessing the level of development of the digital economy in the country and to test this methodology on the example of Russia. The initiative was supported by experts from several Russian organizations, among which were IIS, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, CEMI RAS, Federal Bureau of Medical and Social Expertise, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation and others.

During 2017, the World Bank, in cooperation with IIS, developed a methodology for assessing the digital economy intended for different countries of the world (Digital Economy Country Assessment, DECA). The methodology is based on research results obtained by international organizations (OECD, ITU, World Economic Forum, etc.), leading global consulting firms, industry representatives, as well as the World Bank.

The overall conceptual framework for the assessment is based on the vision of the digital economy development presented in the World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends, which analyzes the socio-economic effects of the development of the digital economy (“digital dividends”) and the conditions for receiving these dividends. The technique is focused on diagnosing the current situation; diagnostic results can be used to form a plan for further action. By its structure, the methodology is limited in scope and provides:

  • a basic assessment of the current state of maturity of the country’s digital economy;
  • identification of key gaps, problems and opportunities in the development of the digital economy;
  • identifying areas that require more careful analysis before policy action or investment is undertaken.

In 2018, IIS and experts from other Russian organizations, with the support of the World Bank, prepared an analytical report on the current state of the development of the digital economy in Russia. This report became one of the interim reports prepared within the framework of the digital economy development initiative in the process of writing the report “Competing in the Digital Age: Policy Implications for the Russian Federation“. This was the first global pilot project to apply the DECA methodology at the country level. In 2018, the G20 Digital Economy Working Group recommended this methodology as a tool for measuring the development of the digital economy in countries.

At the same time, IIS also took the initiative and actively participated in the development of a pilot version of the National Index for the Development of the Digital Economy under the auspices of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom as the competence center of the federal project “Digital Technologies” of the national program “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation”. This work analyzes the factors influencing the development of the digital economy – both digital and non-digital.

The “digital” factors are the corresponding infrastructure of data networks, data centers and digital platforms. “Non-digital” factors are human capital, R&D and innovation, business environment, government policy and regulation, information security. A special factor influencing the development of the digital economy is the presence of a mature digital sector of the economy in the country, including the sector of information and communication technologies along with the sector of (digital) content and media.

When preparing the index, the experts also made an analysis of the use of digital technologies in the areas of public administration, health care, business, as well as their use by ordinary citizens (consumers). A brief comparative analysis of the level of use of digital technologies in 32 European countries was made, and a “heat map” of digitalization of individual industries was presented, the need to analyze the impact of digital transformation on the development of the economy is indicated.

In 2018, IIS, using the DECA methodology, also assessed the level of development of the digital economy in the city of Sevastopol (in Russian only).


The draft national standard on the directions of big data standardization, in the development of which IIS participates, is submitted for public discussion

The Technical Committee for Standardization “Artificial Intelligence” (TC 164) on the basis of RVC has submitted for public discussion the first edition of the standard “Information Technologies. Big Data Reference Architecture. Part 5. Directions of Standardization “. The draft standard was developed by the National Center for Digital Economy of the Lomonosov Moscow State University (within the framework of the project of the NTI Competence Center on Big Data Storage and Analytics Technologies) and the Institute of the Information Society (IIS).

National Standard “Information Technologies. Big Data Reference Architecture. Part 5. Directions of standardization” is part of a series of five standards on the reference architecture of big data and is a Russian-language adaptation of the international technical report ISO/IEC TR 20547-5:2018 Information technology – Big data reference architecture – Part 5: Standards roadmap.

This document submitted to public discussion provides standards developers and users with pointers and references to other standards that are applicable to or provide information about the Big Data Reference Architecture.

The draft national standard describes international and domestic documents on the big data standardization and organizations involved in the development and implementation of relevant standards, and also determines their location. In addition, the draft standard traces the relationship between documents on the big data standardization and the reference architecture of big data, a variety of other existing technologies.

The presented draft national standard, along with other parts of the 20547-X series of standards, will contribute to the effective use of end-to-end digital technology “big data” to solve economic and social problems in the implementation of the national program “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation”.

“Such documents are needed to describe the landscape of standardization in the field of big data, the main players and the distribution of responsibilities between them. The application of the developed national standard allows you to form an idea of the current norms and areas of technical regulation of working with big data, as well as to identify the existing gaps and priority areas for the development of future standards,” notes Yuri Hohlov, chairman of IIS Board of directors, chairman of the Data subcommittee (PC 02) as part of TC 164 , head of the project “Monitoring and standardization of the development and use of big data technologies in the digital economy of the Russian Federation” of the NTI Competence Center at the Moscow State University.

The draft standard was developed by the National Center for Digital Economy of Lomonosov Moscow State University (within the framework of the above-mentioned project of the NTI Competence Center) and IIS. The coordination of work on the reconciliation and approval of the document is carried out by PC 02 “Data” on the basis of Moscow State University, operating as part of TC 164 “Artificial Intelligence”.

The first edition of the standard is available on the website of the NTI Competence Center for Big Data Storage and Analytics Technologies at Moscow State University at Comments on the project are accepted by e-mail until May 10, 2021. Based on the results of public discussion, the edition of the standard will be supplemented and approved by TC 164 “Artificial Intelligence”, after which it is planned to submit the document to Rosstandart.


The journal “Economic Strategies” published an article by Alexander Raikov on the problem of strong artificial intelligence

The journal “Economic Strategies” published an article by Alexander Raikov, member of the IIS Supervisory board, on the problem of strong artificial intelligence (AI).

The article notes that “modern AI systems can only recognize, predict and answer questions, but they cannot think, understand, explain and pose problems. Failure to provide an explanation generates distrust of the conclusions drawn from such systems. This was the case when expert systems appeared on the market many years ago (then they dealt with this problem), the same limitation is still characteristic of modern neural networks.

A human is able to make correct and at the same time non-causal (unreasonable) decisions, has intuition, can meditate and fall into a trance, he has a mysterious soul. The idea of consciousness is accessible only to man. Apparently, it is these aspects that are the subject for the possible development of modern AI towards a strong AI. To build it, it is necessary to change the paradigm of AI development.

Strong AI can be a hybrid cyber-physical system of systems. In the new paradigm, it is necessary to explicitly include an observer in the work of the AI ​​system, that is, a human who reflexively and cognitively influences the situation. This inclusion makes the formulation of problems inverse, incorrect, and what is more – in cognitive (non-formalized) spaces. Large-scale evolutionary calculations can be used to solve them. Instead of a logical-linguistic or neural network representation of objects and events, it is necessary to delve into the atomic level of their semantic interpretation. Then the semantics of AI models becomes quantum-relativistic. The continual power of such a semantic interpretation in statics is 30-50 orders higher than that in the traditional one. This is not at all the idea of ​​a quantum computer with a superposition of discrete states of quantum particles, but fundamentally different.

When building the paradigm of strong AI, it is necessary to take into account the phenomena of the collective unconscious, energy singularity, quantum nonlocality, wave-particle duality, thermodynamic and relativistic effects, the relationship of low-temperature plasma with the substance of the brain and body, free fluctuations of the vacuum, spontaneous behavior of natural neurons. It will be necessary to compare the experiment with two slits, when a quantum particle interferes with an infinite number of shadow particles, with the semiotic aspects of the hermeneutics of words. The possible interconnection of cosmic strings with quantum superstrings filling the atoms of the instrumental environment of a strong AI should not remain unnoticed. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the mysteriousness of the unified theory of the field, dark energy and dark matter. These and many other phenomena do not yet have convincing causal explanations. Apparently, the very process of building a strong AI will help find them.

Thus, a certain hybrid strong AI is most likely capable to put the fundamental questions correctly, to find and substantiate the correct answers to them. It includes collective intelligence and new powerful AI tools. To build it, it is necessary to change the paradigm of creating AI systems, delve into the atomic abyss and rise to space heights. At the same time, this requires the development of the institutional foundations of the collective scientific consciousness, tools for communication and virtual cooperation.”

Alexander Raikov is doctor of technical sciences, full state advisor of the Russian Federation of the 3rd class, laureate of the RF Government Prize in the field of science and technology. He is also a leading researcher at the V.A. Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, head of the department of cognitive technologies of the MSU National Center for Digital Economy, a professor at MIREA – Russian Technological University.

Source: website of the Center for Big Data Storage and Analytics at Lomonosov Moscow State University

Photo: Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation

Text: Journal of Economic Strategies (in Russian)


IIS acted as an intellectual partner of the research “Developing Smart Cities in Russia: Lessons from International Experience” of the World Bank and the Ministry of Construction of Russia

On March 18, 2021, at the seminar of the World Bank and the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation (Ministry of Construction of Russia), the main parameters of the study “Developing Smart Cities in Russia” were presented, as well as the experience of European and Asian countries in the field of smart cities. The intellectual partner of the research is the Institute of the Information Society (IIS).

The World Bank is conducting a study on smart cities in Russia, which aims to analyze the digital transformation of Russian cities. The study includes an assessment of the current preparedness level of cities to implement the latest approaches and technologies to ensure resilience to modern challenges, including the COVID-2019 pandemic. The research is carried out with the support of the Ministry of Construction of Russia.

The session was attended by international and Russian experts, representatives of cities and intellectual partner organizations.

Renaud Seligmann, Director and Permanent Representative of the World Bank in the Russian Federation, officially launched the study: “This year, the World Bank is conducting a study“ Development of Smart Cities in Russia ”with the support of the Ministry of Construction and Housing and Utilities and with the active participation of Russian cities carefully selected according to the recommendations of the Ministry of Construction.

This study raises several important goals and questions. First, conduct a high-level analysis and determine the current level of digital transformation in Russian cities. Secondly, to identify the key digital challenges facing the cities of Russia, what are the main problems that Russian cities face. Thirdly, to determine the main priorities for the development of smart cities in Russia. Fourth, to present the latest advanced global trends and practices for the development of smart cities: what is happening at the forefront of smart cities in other countries, in which direction cities are developing, how they respond to the main challenges and priorities of the 2020 year, and how regulation is changing”.

“We hope that today’s event will launch this project [“Developing Smart Cities in Russia” study] on a very beautiful note with the participation of leading international experts whom we have invited,” said session co-moderator Oleg Petrov, senior digital development specialist of the World Bank.

“I think we will really get a study that will answer us quite interesting questions, what challenges are now facing Russian cities, do they really follow the principles laid down in the Smart City project. The project has existed since 2018. For three years now, measures from the standard have been implemented. 209 Russian cities are participating in the project,”said Lelya Zhvirblis, head of the smart city technology implementation department, Ministry of Construction, Housing and Communal Services of the Russian Federation.

The speaker added: “The cities that will perform today, that are listening to us today – I cannot say that these are the best smart cities in Russia, they are absolutely ordinary participants in the [Smart City] project. I am confident that the World Bank study will thus show the real situation that is now happening with smart cities in Russia.”

Leading international experts Randeep Sudan (report on the future of smart cities), Jung Sung Hwang (report on trends in smart cities development and Korean experience) and Kim Andreasson (report on the experience of European cities) shared their global experience in the field of smart cities.

“When we talk about smart cities of the future, we mean that we will have to use data. Data coming not only from public sector organizations, but also from the private sector. This will allow us to use new approaches based on artificial intelligence,” – said Randeep Sudan.

He is confident: “Smart cities need to use a new, modern data infrastructure and develop new competencies in the field of data use. It is not enough to have data, platforms. It is necessary to have the potential that will allow city administrations to effectively use all this data, to apply all these advanced technologies so that they bring positive results.”

Jung Sung Hwang believes, “The main difference between smart and dumb cities is that smart cities are not only consumers of smart innovation, but also sources of it.”

Talking about the experience of Europe, Kim Andreasson mentioned: “The main priorities for building smart cities have been identified and the main problems that need to be solved are lack of data and lack of cooperation. This is why Helsinki and Stockholm, as well as other European cities, are now looking at data, primarily open data, as a way to overcome these challenges.”

As part of the presentation of the research “Developing Smart Cities in Russia” Ellen Hamilton, lead urban development specialist of the World Bank, shared: “We are trying to understand, analyze the current state of development of smart cities in Russia, the problems you face, the approaches that you use to solve these problems. We will be in constant communication with you, discussing how you do this, and use the information received as a basis for shaping a body of global best practices. Some of this information is already available today. We are also interested in seeing what is happening in smaller cities, comparing their experiences with those of similar cities (again, as part of the formation of a set of best practices). Finally, we will try to come up with a set of recommendations.”

It is planned that the final version of the report on the digital transformation of Russian cities will be presented publicly in June 2021.

Separately, Ellen Hamilton noted the work carried out by the Ministry of Construction of Russia and the NTI Competence Center on Big Data Storage and Analytics Technologies based at Moscow State University: “What I especially like about Russia is the amazing work that you have done in relation to the IQ of cities index. This is a great starting point. You don’t see such results in every country”.

On March 3, 2020, the Ministry of Construction of Russia presented the first index of digitalization of urban economy “IQ of Cities”, developed jointly with the NTI Competence Center on Big Data within the framework of the departmental project “Smart City”. The index was calculated based on data from 191 cities at the end of 2018. Then a similar calculation of the index was carried out based on the data of 209 cities for 2019.

According to Kim Andreasson, the World Bank study explores three key areas: 1) the main priorities for the development of a smart city; 2) best practices for using digital technologies to solve problems of emergency response, resilience to modern challenges such as COVID-19; 3) the use of data and artificial intelligence to improve decision-making, service delivery and response to modern challenges.

During the next part of the session, representatives of Zheleznovodsk, Kazan, Krasnodar and Moscow answered the following questions: “What is the main priority in the development of a smart city is relevant for your city?” and “What is the most important challenge / barrier for the development of your smart city?”.

The World Bank is assisted in the study by intellectual partner organizations who have also commented on the above issues. Head of the international information exchange department Tatyana Boyko spoke on behalf of the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), on behalf of Strelka construction bureau – head of the urban governance department Max Ivto, on behalf of the Center for Strategic Research – deputy head of the spatial development department Ilya Lagunov, on behalf of the Institute of the Information Society – Head of the directorate for regional programs Peter Ershov.

“Our experience shows that if at the regional level sufficient attention is paid to the problem of the smart cities development, then the municipalities, in fact, have much more chances of success in the implementation of their initiatives,” said Peter Ershov.

He also mentioned the barriers to the development of Russian smart cities: “In addition to financial support, I would like to mention staffing. Unfortunately, we can state the fact that at the level of municipalities both the willingness of residents to use the services of a smart city and the qualifications of municipal employees leave much to be desired. The local level suffers from the fact that all cadres are attracted to larger centers.

One of the important barriers is the problem of synchronizing the initiatives of the municipality and the level of the region, because both technical and managerial decisions that are made at both levels of government are usually the same. If you synchronize them in time, you can avoid many problems.”

According to Peter Ershov, there is also a problem of public awareness: “One of the reasons for the failures is insufficient work with the citizens at the stage of implementation of these projects. Before introducing them, it is necessary to work closely with the people, to understand their real needs”. “The slow change in the regulatory framework also affects: half the battle is to introduce some kind of service / solution at the level of the municipality, another thing is to provide it with an adequate regulatory and legal framework that would take into account the interests of citizens and ensure adequate control by the municipality”, – summed up Peter Ershov.

Giving the floor to Dmitry Rakov, head of the expert and analytical department of the NTI Competence Center for Big Data at Moscow State University, session moderator Oleg Petrov noted: “We see Moscow State University as possible partners [of the research].”

“Our MSU team, commissioned by the Ministry of Construction, is the developer of a methodology for assessing the IQ of cities. At the moment we are updating the methodology … From our side, one of the key barriers, probably, is an incomplete understanding, including on the part of the population, why the city needs to become smart at all. The introduction of new technologies (digitalization in general) is only one of the sides of the digital transformation of the urban economy, at the same time it is important to understand that the main goal is to make the functioning of the city and its management more efficient, to ensure safety and comfort for citizens. We are very glad that this barrier is already decreasing and that this ideology is already fully beginning to be accepted by cities,”said Dmitry Rakov.

“If we talk about the cities of Russia as a whole, then another key barrier is financial constraint, but mainly, it seems to us, this stop factor is expressed in the ratio of effects and costs, because a large number of effects from the implementation of smart cities are indirect: it is difficult to see an immediate monetary effect. But at the same time, it is important to see that with the development of smart cities, among other things, they become attractive for investment by building effective ecosystems, partnerships, technological development, and creating comfortable conditions for business,” added Dmitry Rakov.

Nikita Utkin, RVC program manager, chairman of Technical Committee 194 “Cyber-Physical Systems”, is sure: “Those practices that have been successfully tested require immediate adoption of certain standards. It is this path that will ensure high efficiency in project implementation, their compatibility and, most importantly, scalability.”

On behalf of IIS, general director Tatiana Ershova and chairman of the Board of directors Yuri Hohlov also took part in the event.

Source: website of the NTI Competence Center on Big Data Storage and Analytics Technologies at Moscow State University (in Russian).


Tatiana Ershova took part in the discussion of the topic “State services may become inaccessible without biometrics” on the air of the radio “Govorit Moskva”

On March 10, 2021, at 16:00, the Information Channel program went on the air on the Govorit Moskva radio. The host of the program, Yuri Budkin, referred to a recent publication of the Kommersant newspaper, which commented on concerns that some public services might become inaccessible without biometrics. The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media proposes to intensify the collection of biometric data: it is planned to increase the number of entries in the Unified Biometric System (UBS) from the current 164 thousand to 70 million in two years, that is, every second citizen of Russia should be present in the system. According to some statements, the ministry wants to stimulate such growth with the help of administrative measures: if you fail to submit your biometric data, you do not get access to a number of public services.

The host asked several questions to Tatiana Ershova, General Director of the Institute of the Information Society and editor-in-chief of the scientific and analytical journal “Information Society”.

The first question: Why is it not possible to obtain the consent of citizens to collect their biometric data, why do they not run to leave their biometric casts?

T. Ershova suggested not to generalize, since many citizens do it voluntarily and even with pleasure, realizing that thanks to this they quickly receive government services in a remote mode, which is very important in our time. Others resist this, and they have their own arguments. Therefore, it is worth talking about those who understand the importance of biometrics for receiving services (government and not only) remotely, and about those who are afraid to transfer biometric information, realizing that the security of personal data is a problem that can be solved quite well, but failures may take place at the same time.

Second question: What can be done with a person’s biometric data?

T. Ershova noted that criminals can penetrate into various spheres of our life, and here this, too, cannot be completely avoided. However, biometric data, in her opinion, is still more reliably protected than a paper passport or other document that can be stolen or lost due to absent-mindedness. And biometric data will be stored in a reliable UBS, which is now acquiring the status of a state information system. Its reliable operation is ensured by Rostelecom in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Security Service and Federal Service for Technical and Export Control. Of course, it happens that the system may not recognize the voice or face of a person, or, conversely, recognize the voice or face of a completely different person, but such failures are extremely rare, therefore T. Ershova advocates the introduction of biometrics in Russia, especially since this is a global trend. People believe that it will make our life more convenient and safer.

The third question: But only 164 thousand of more than 140 million believe, and the officials want 70 million to come in two years. Will it be possible to force the people?

T. Ershova stressed that no one is forcibly driving anyone anywhere. Recently, Yuri Parfenov, director of the department for the implementation of strategic projects of the Ministry of Digital Development, said that the use of biometric identification technologies would not be mandatory to receive government services. Yes, the authorities are trying to stimulate the spread of biometric identification, and here she fully supports the efforts of the state, which is moving towards the digital development. Now the indicator is still very low, but this can be explained by the fact that people do not have enough information. They need to be educated, and the mass media should be involved in this process. They must explain to the citizens what problems there may be, how to solve them and what advantages it gives, and there are many more of them than problems.

Fourth question: What are these advantages? If my face or my fingers are in the system, will I be served faster?

T. Ershova is sure that it will be faster. And this is especially important for the provision of remote services, which is very topical for some regions, where some services are poorly or not at all available face-to-face.

Access to the recording of the program can be obtained on the website of the radio station “Govorit Moskva” (in Russian).


Springer publishes a book by Alexander Raikov on the cognitive semantics of artificial intelligence

Springer, an international publishing company, has published the monograph “Cognitive Semantics of Artificial Intelligence: A New Perspective” by Alexander Raikov, member of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of the Information Society.

Alexander Raikov is doctor of technical sciences, full state advisor of the Russian Federation of the 3rd class, laureate of the RF Government Prize in the field of science and technology. He is also a leading researcher at the V.A. Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a professor at MIREA – Russian Technological University.

“The book addresses the issue of cognitive semantics’ aspects that cannot be represented by traditional digital and logical means. The problem of creating cognitive semantics can be resolved in an indirect way. The electromagnetic waves, quantum fields, beam of light, chaos control, relativistic theory, cosmic string recognition, category theory, group theory, and so on can be used for this aim. Since the term artificial intelligence (AI) appeared, various versions of logic have been created; many heuristics for neural networks deep learning have been made; new nature-like algorithms have been suggested. At the same time, the initial digital, logical, and neural network principles of representation of knowledge in AI systems have not changed a lot. The researches of these aspects of cognitive semantics of AI are based on the author’s convergent methodology, which provides the necessary conditions for purposeful and sustainable convergence of decision-making, “- follows from the description of the monograph by Alexander Raikov.

Source: NCDE MSU, photo: Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation.


IIS congratulates all women colleagues and partners on International Women’s Day

Dear colleagues and partners!

Please accept our most sincere congratulations on International Women’s Day and wishes of health and wonderful spring mood.

May good luck, interesting work and happiness in your personal life accompany you all year!


The first issue of the Information Society journal for 2021 is published

The full version of the 1st issue for 2021, in which 7 articles were published, can be viewed on the journal’s website.

At the end of last year, analyzing its publication activity, the editorial staff self-critically noted that some important topics were left without due attention. In the first issue of this year, this deficiency was partially overcome due to the placement of articles under the headings “Science and Innovations in the Information Society” and “Information Society and Law”.

Other articles of the issue were distributed under traditionally popular headings: “Digital Economy”, “Information Society and State Power”, “Education in the Information Society”, “Trust and Security in the Information Society”, “Information Society Technologies”.

The interest of scientists and researchers from other countries continues to please. This issue contains articles by authors from Azerbaijan and Belarus. Materials from Russia are presented by authors from Moscow and Vladimir. The editors hope that the geographical diversity of the portfolio will only grow over time.

It should be noted that thanks to the transition to a digital platform, the journal began to be published strictly on schedule, without a single day of delay. The editors, relying only on themselves and the authors, ceased to depend on the availability of external specialists, the difficulties of the printing house, and the vicissitudes of logistics. The publishing process has become easier and cheaper, valuable scientific materials are more accessible, and interaction with authors is less cumbersome.