On 12-13 October 2023, the Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence (ISSAI) at Nazarbayev University had the honor of participating in the Digital Bridge 2023. Digital Bridge is an international forum at the forefront of digital technologies, business, and IT. The forum brings together distinguished personalities from different countries, founders and top managers of technology giants, entrepreneurial trailblazers, accomplished scientists, and budding students in a profound exchange aimed at mutual inspiration. This year, the forum focused on an important topic: “Artificial and Human Intelligence: The Right Balance”.
The forum witnessed a momentous occasion as the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, delivered a speech that underscored the remarkable growth of the forum over the past five years. According to the Head of State, what was once a promising event has now become the largest platform in Central Asia to delve into the latest trends and future possibilities within the IT industry.
President Tokayev went on to emphasize the imperative need to elevate ISSAI to a full-fledged research institute. It is envisioned to form an integral ecosystem serving as a center of attraction for the most exceptional talents and experts in the industry. The institute will house a dedicated research and development center set to collaborate closely with global and domestic IT industry leaders. Moreover, President Tokayev stressed the importance of ensuring the commercialization and scaling of the institute’s groundbreaking developments, signaling a future brimming with innovation and opportunity.
Manned by a dedicated team, ranging from the institute’s Technical project coordinator to our Data scientists (Aknur Karabay, Alina Polonskaya, Askhat Kuzdeuov, Gibrat Kurmanov, Madina Abdrakhmanova, Rustem Yeshpanov, and Yerbol Absalyamov), ISSAI’s presence at the event was nothing short of extraordinary. Our booth drew in a diverse and enthusiastic crowd, as hundreds of attendees flocked to explore the captivating world of ISSAI’s research activities. They engaged with our team, asked a wide array of thought-provoking questions, and left inspired by the cutting-edge work we are doing. Some even expressed their fervent interest in becoming part of the ISSAI team, reflecting the role of the forum as a catalyst for talent discovery and collaboration.
Since its establishment in 2019, ISSAI has consistently led the way in technological innovation. Our projects cover an extensive array of research efforts, from exploring the development of augmented reality and AI-based human memory augmentation systems to creating high-resolution thermal and visual spectra image datasets, designing COVID-19 simulators, and even developing a system for recognizing Central Asian dishes. Among these captivating ventures, our institute remains deeply committed to promoting the representation of the Kazakh language in the digital domain. Our achievements extend to the creation of automatic speech-to-text and text-to-speech systems supporting Kazakh as well as other languages, including UN official languages and several Turkic languages.
We take pride in the fact that all our datasets, many of which are the largest and unique in their domain, along with our models, have been open source and available for public use from the moment of their publication. We also wish to underscore that our institute has consistently maintained transparency and openness in all research activities, as we firmly believe in providing accessibility to cutting-edge technologies for the benefit of the broader community.
As a leading institution dedicated to advancing digital technologies and artificial intelligence, ISSAI is committed to fostering innovation and technological growth, and our involvement in Digital Bridge reflects our dedication to this mission. We believe that such forums provide an excellent platform for collaboration and knowledge-sharing, which is vital for the development of digital technologies in the region and beyond.