We are honored by the announcement of country’s President during the International Digital Bridge Forum 2023 regarding the transformation of ISSAI into a full-fledged research institute. This announcement was met with great enthusiasm by different state and private organizations and startups who intend to contribute to the development of Kazakhstan through AI-based products, services, and technologies. Specifically, ISSAI was contacted by many revered organizations such as the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Digital Development and Aerospace industry, the Agency for Financial Monitoring, the General Prosecutor’s Office, BilimLand, Coursera in Kazakhstan (BMG UpSkill), AstanaHub, G42 (Presight AI), Eurasia Blockchain eXchange, Tai Group (China), Simple Code, Ghalam Space, KEGOC, NVIDIA, Yessen & Company, Invat.kz, Flexy Data, Til Qazyna, Nazarbayev Intellectual School (center of educational programs), Department of Material and Technical Support under Administrative affairs of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Public Association “PMI Kazakh Chapter”, Tunkz studio, Qazaqstan TV, Yel Arna TV, Tengrinews, Kursiv.kz, The Tech Internet Media, Center for the Development of Digital Economy, and some local and international universities and others.
We look forward to interacting and collaborating with all committed stakeholders in Kazakhstan and the region. However, ISSAI currently is an academic research organization with 9 full-time employees (deputy director, administrative specialist, 2 computer engineers, and 5 data scientists) and modest computational resources (4 NVIDIA DGX servers). The Institute does not have the bandwidth to interact with this many organizations and it certainly lacks the technical personnel and computational resources to participate in many collaborative projects. ISSAI provided a tentative transformation plan to the authorities and is currently waiting for further clarification and guidance on its transformation. If and when this transformation happens, we envision a dedicated division within the Institute for translational AI research. This division will be tasked to collaborate with external stakeholders and will aim to maximize societal, economic, and technological impact on the country. For now, ISSAI will keep focusing on academic research to ensure that Nazarbayev University and Kazakhstan conduct top-notch AI research, demonstrated through impactful publications. ISSAI will continue to make an impact on the economy and society by open-source sharing its datasets and models.