On 21 November 2023, the major international Technopark for IT-startups in Central Asia Astana Hub and Information and Communication Infrastructure Operator of “Electronic Government” of the Republic of Kazakhstan JSC NITEC visited ISSAI. The delegation was headed by Astana Hub CEO Mr. Magzhan Madiyev and Deputy Chairman of JSC NITEC Mr. Dmitryi Mun.
The delegation visited the Institute on the instructions of Minister Bagdat Mussin in order to get acquainted with research activities and also to discuss future potential cooperation.
During the visit, Astana Hub and NITEC were informed about the current projects of ISSAI in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and data science. ISSAI Deputy Director Yerbol Absalyamov gave a tour of the ISSAI labs and presented ISSAI’s cutting-edge projects, including the ones on Kazakh speech recognition, generation, and translation. ISSAI postdoc Dr. Azamat Yeshmukhametov spoke about their scientific projects on augmented reality and tensegrity robotics. The tour continued with ISSAI Senior Data Scientist Askat Kuzdeuov demonstrating the ISSAI digital human prototype UMAY’s ability to interact in Kazakh.
The visit concluded with a roundtable discussion where ISSAI Founding Director Dr. Atakan Varol shared information on the current state of AI research in Kazakhstan and compared it to other countries. He pointed out the lack of computational resources as the major impediment to the development of AI in Kazakhstan. Astana Hub’s CEO Magzhan Madiyev and Managing Director Tanat Uskembayev presented informative information about the Hub’s activities including opportunities and tools for supporting startups. NITEC Deputy Chairman Dmitryi Mun explained about NITEC’s Data Lake platform and recent works on creating a Data Center together with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Astana Hub proposed to ISSAI to review and analyze the possibilities to use Astana Hub’s support for ISSAI’s research projects. NITEС is open to discuss with ISSAI its Data Lake usage for research purposes. ISSAI will, certainly, consider all these opportunities, especially if and when ISSAI will be scaled up. The meeting ended with a consensus on the need for urgent computational resources and general national strategy for the AI field such that Kazakhstan can remain in the AI race.