The Head of the Center for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Sergey Yudovskiy believes that you have to speak in the language of the business to integrate AI in the company’s operation successfully. On November 22, he will speak at AI Conference in Moscow with the presentation “How will AI and RPA change the economy of the future?”. In the interview for Moscow AI Conference, the expert explains how AI will influence the labor market, assesses the economic situation, and shares case studies of the AI integration in Russia.

Interviewer: AI Conference (AIC)
Respondent: Sergey Yudovskiy, head of the Center for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (S.Y.)

AIC: How will the integration of AI and RPA technologies in manufacturing influence the unemployment level?

S.Y.: This is a difficult question for business and state – this influence is controllable in the long term. Robotic automation and AI integration can not only reduce the number of workplaces but also create new ones. This can happen due to rendered services or the increase in the production volume.

For example, AI integration and automation in oil production (digital oil recovery) increased the cost-efficiency of the produced oil in the USA. The number of employees required for the production of a specific amount of oil was reduced, but the industry received a possibility for growth and the general quantity of engaged workers increased.

In such cases, the employment pattern changes rather drastically – oil companies require more analysts and software developers and at the same time, the demand for some traditional professions in this field decreases. At a certain point, thousands of boreholes will be serviced by a dozen of specialists, while drones and robots will examine and repair the equipment.

From the microeconomic standpoint, companies can optimize labor costs by dismissing employees or increase production volumes by keeping workplaces. The third option is to redistribute human resources to the areas untouched by robotic automation and AI by creating new workplaces. The situation in each company is unique, so I doubt that we will witness a significant impact of these technologies on the unemployment level in the medium term.

However, from the macroeconomic standpoint, there is a big risk of the negative scenario for the labor market: many industries will transform significantly and it will be impossible to create new workplaces. Therefore, the top priority task of the state is to encourage their creation by means of education, tax policy, and social programs.


AIC: In your opinion, what are the main reasons of economy stagnation?

S.Y.: The cornerstone of the economy growth, especially in the demographic conditions of the former Soviet Union is the labor productivity. Many economists state that it is necessary to increase the labor productivity by more than a third for the stable economy growth.

The Russian politician Aleksey Kudrin believes that the labor productivity should be increased by two times in order to reach 3-4% growth by 2035. To obtain such results, it is important to update the production facilities and deployed technologies as well as invest in education and retraining of employees.


AIC: How will artificial intelligence help to eliminate the existing problems?

S.Y.: AI integration significantly increases labor productivity. Currently, the use of these technologies costs a lot, but AI will substantially increase the turnover or margin.

The use of AI at the industrial level creates a multiplicative effect of growth for the economy. Companies that fail to adapt or turn to be non-competitive cease operations.


AIC: Please, name the most successful AI and RPA use cases, in your opinion.

S.Y.: AI use cases in the Russian realities are interesting examples. Production and transportation of metal pipes requires inventory checking at every stage. Special inspection teams have to count pipes with every transportation or business cycle phase.

Domestic solution in the field of AI and computer vision allows fully automating this process basing on photos or video: it finds pipes on camera and counts their quantity.

A similar process of the production control is used at the distillery. Monitoring of gas pipelines is optimized: the neural network is taught to differentiate acoustic signals connected with the work of the excavator located near the underground gas pipeline and to prevent its damage.

The growth of labor productivity and transformation of some professions stands behind each of these use cases.


AIC: Which AI integration solutions are offered by the Center for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence?

S.Y.: Our story with AI started in the field of process automation. In one of our first projects, we developed neural networks and taught them for a large construction company. The solution was checking the availability of the contractor’s signature on the incoming scanned documents. It helped to save time and speed up document processing.

Later, we worked on computer vision and developed applied neural networks. Currently, we focus on solving complex analytical tasks and work with big data. We also use speech recognition and generation technologies. They are mainly virtual assistants for customers and employees.

Our main acquired skill is to talk with the business about AI integration in its language – the language of solving understandable, articulate, and burning tasks. Many talented tech teams have excellent solutions, but businesses do not see and hear them mainly due to the lack of such a competence.


AIC: What will you be talking about at AI Conference in Moscow?

S.Y.: At the conference, I will tell how AI and RPA technologies influence the future economy.

In the report, I will touch upon up-to-date problems that the global economy and businesses face today. I will tell how routine operations lead to errors and increase chances of operational risks. I will also explain how big data is applied in modern realities and how human resources are used to solve mechanical tasks.

We will talk about the economy of abundance and its influence on the emerging business models and new products that we already use. We will discuss how AI and robotization will lead to the disappearance of millions of workplaces, at the same time creating even more workplaces. We will discuss how old functions are disappearing and what new professions will arrive.

I will present several AI and RPA use cases, tell about advantages that the businesses get, and share the conclusions made by our company.


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