Russia’s largest bank and digital innovation frontrunner Sberbank announced creating an Artificial Intelligence alliance including the state-controlled bank, Yandex and Mail.ru internet majors, MTC mobile operator, Gazprom Neft oil company, and the Russian Fund for Direct Investment, Vedomosti and Tass reported on November 8 citing the CEO of the bank German Gref.
As reported by bne IntelliNews, Sberbank is a digital innovation frontrunner and Sberbank plans its own digital ecosystem under Sber brand.
The news of an AI alliance are in line with the general trend of big tech advances being pushed by conglomerations of largest banks and corporate majors. Latest such initiative is Russian integrated telecom major Rostelecom and country's second-largest state-controlled VTB Bank considering to set up a big data exchange platform.
Reportedly, the AI solutions will be developed in the format of state-private partnership, curated by the Ministry of Economic Development. The RFDI will take charge of both financing and spinning the developed AI solutions abroad. The representative of the fund reminded to Vedomosti that the fund had already raised $2bn for Russian AI developers.
In a separate report Vedomosti and RBC business daily said that Sberbank launched a most powerful supercomputer in Russia, 7th most powerful in Europe and 29th most powerful in Europe.
The supercomputer was developed jointly with the US company Nvidia, and is named Christofari in the honour of first ever client of Sber Kassa (Sovier predecessor of Sberbank) Nikolai Christofari. The cost of the development is not disclosed, and the bank plans to use the machine in the development of AI-based services.
Christofari is already used in voice recognition and automated client services of Sberbank. The bank will also outsource the capacity of the supercomputer to third parties for a fee starting with December.