In October 2019, the Russian government released a national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence, promising to increase support for scientific research in the AI field.1 By most metrics necessary for the advancement of AI—hardware, data, talent, and investment—Russia lags behind the United States and China. Yet the Russian government has an ambitious vision for AI and is committing resources to strengthening Russian science and technology more broadly.
This issue brief presents an overview of Russia’s scientific research on artificial intelligence published in English-language journals over the past decade, including trends in topical focus and institutional activity. We analyzed 7,095 research papers published in English between 2010 and 2018 across different fields of science related to the development and application of AI and machine learning. The authors of these papers listed affiliations with 249 institutions in Russia. Our key findings show:
- Between 2010 and 2018, the number of English-language publications by Russian scientists in fields such as machine learning, algorithms, and robotics has increased more than six times.
- Nearly half of English-language research papers published by Russian scientists between 2010 and 2018 were linked to the following six AI related fields: computer vision, pattern recognition, linguistics, natural language processing, algorithms, and robotics.
- Russia’s scientific research output in English-language journals remains relatively low compared to that of researchers from the United States and China.
- Most of the Russian institutions that lead in English-language AI research publications benefit from numerous forms of public funding, and more than half of the top 20 participate in Project 5–100, which provides federal funding to Russia’s leading universities in order to increase their global competitiveness.
The Russian government will use publications in leading international scientific journals as one of the key metrics to assess progress toward its goals in AI. Given the dual-use nature of AI and the linkages between Russia’s scientific research community and the government, these developments also have important implications for national security.
Download Full Issue BriefRussian AI Research 2010 to 2018
- Keith Dear, “Will Russia Rule the World Through AI?” The RUSI Journal 164, no. 5-6 (November 29, 2019). 10.1080/03071847.2019.1694227.