Georgia – Light Years Away from Full Artificial Intelligence

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The FINANCIAL — The prospect of an AI future both excites and concerns consumers around the globe. But fears around the drawbacks of AI are offset by the benefits, so the net result is positive. Many believe that AI will change society for the better. The machines are expected to eventually learn how to outsmart humans and become super intelligent. Meanwhile, adoption of AI in Georgia remains low. Georgian authorities are being advised to focus on the development of AI, which is the future of economic growth.

“AI-related proposals should be included in governmental digital strategy onboarding. Investments and funding in AI and Robotics should be given to researchers and universities, because it will definitely drive enormous growth for the economy, create jobs, foster new skills and positively transform each and every industry,” Dachi Choladze, Co-Founder and CEO at Pulsar AI, told The FINANCIAL.

According to Choladze, government support in commercializing AI breakthroughs in Georgia is crucial for the further development and advancement of AI.

Based in Georgia, Pulsar AI is a tech company that makes it easy for businesses to use artificial intelligence in their everyday operations. The company solves machine data challenges that its team has encountered in their past work environments. Based on a growing digital network, the team of Pulsar AI studies digital ecosystems and provides personalized products and services for a better and smarter future.

Q. According to Elon Musk, Artificial Intelligence will cause World War III. What are your thoughts on this statement?

A. We are hearing strong opinions about Artificial Intelligence among CEOs in the tech world; machines will eventually learn how to outsmart humans and become super intelligent. But the timescale varies. There are ongoing efforts to ensure that AI remains safe. Tech giants are collaborating to programme AI with a code of ethics and prevent AI from being exploited by terrorist groups.

Q. Many believe that whoever becomes the leader in AI will become the ruler of the world. Which countries are advancing in terms of this, and where is Georgia situated in this regard?

A. China has been writing and publishing many papers and articles regarding AI. We expect to see better understanding of, and a boom in, AI in China. 2016 was a significant year for artificial intelligence: China, the United States, Japan, Russia, and the UK led the way. These are the countries with strong computer science knowledge. Georgia’s presence among those giants is barely visible, but we are doing our best to move forward and reach new competitive levels.

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Q. Do you see tech-literate people among the Georgian authorities?

A. We have seen a number of plans on the extension of undergraduate Computer Science, Engineering and Robotics studies. Georgian authorities should acknowledge that AI in developing countries is likely to have a more significant impact than industrialized ones. It is vital that infrastructure for tech enthusiasts should be in place in order to take advantage of advancement in the technology. Georgia is definitely trying to adopt technology and embrace the digital era.

Q. Opportunities for AI are essentially limitless. It is believed that AI will empower and improve every business, every government organization and every philanthropy. Which fields would you highlight as more open to AI?

A. Software Companies pushed the boundaries and led the era of automation. We are already seeing significant advancements in many fields: Virtual assistants or Chatbots are offering expert assistance (Customer Service); Robot advisors in the fields of finance, insurance, legal, media and journalism provide instantaneous findings and sentiment analysis; and within the healthcare field, AI software assists patients with medical diagnosis and assistance. We are glad that we are contributing to AI advancement in Georgia. Since our launch we have helped multiple industries solve their daily challenges that they have been facing.

Q. Any field requires qualified staff. What is your estimation of the Georgian education system in this regard?

A. We all know how the Georgian education system has undergone modernizing and drastic reforms since 2004. Many schools and universities now have access to information and digital resources. The exchange programmes and diverse atmosphere helps students acquire global, relevant and up-to-date knowledge. Having a more creative and innovative mindset will definitely help youngsters to become competitive in any field, not only in Georgia but worldwide.

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However, in this particular case, there are almost no experienced professionals in this field, but there are people with strong mathematical backgrounds, together with some other crucial skills needed in the hi-tech sector. As our technologies are based on those concepts that these people have mastered during their careers, they are the ones whom we recruit; and then teach them all the rest here in the company.

Q. As a start-up, what is your main suggestion for those who are just entering the market?

A. It is an exciting time for this technology as we see consumer and B2B acceptance and interest growing quite rapidly. Even though big tech firms like Google and Facebook get a lot of the attention, we believe it is the startups that matter the most in driving AI in everyday operations.

Q. ‘Brain drain’ is one of the main challenges for many countries. Are you witnessing this trend in Georgia?

A. Brain drain is indeed a global trend that is also problematic for Georgia as well, while faster and cheaper mobility is considered a positive phenomenon, on the national level migration of skilled workers, especially in the tech industry, is an obstacle, because it leads to scarce human resources. We have invested a huge amount of time in finding and recruiting top talent. It is definitely a struggle that we have encountered when entering the market, but we believe that a brain drain can be avoided when we introduce better education, access to research and information facilities and provide career opportunities.

Written By Maria Liberalova


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