During the Digital Bridge Forum 2023, the President of Kazakhstan announced plans to transform the Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence (ISSAI) into a full-fledged research institute. After this announcement, Digital Development and Aerospace Industry Minister Mr. Bagdat Mussin visited our Institute in the middle of November 2023 to discuss the initial steps of this initiative. Following the Minister’s visit, on the 4th of December 2023, the First Vice-minister of the Digital Development and Aerospace Industry Ministry, Mr. Kanysh Tuleushin and several departments of the Digital Ministry (Department of Innovation Development, Digital Government Support Center, and Qazinnovation) paid a visit to Nazarbayev University and ISSAI.
During the visit, ISSAI Deputy Director Yerbol Absalyamov and Data Scientist Madina Abdrakhmanova gave a tour of the ISSAI laboratories to the First Vice Minister’s entourage and presented ISSAI’s cutting-edge projects, including the ones on Kazakh speech recognition, generation, and translation. ISSAI researchers Zhanat Makhatayeva and Azamat Yeshmukhametov spoke about their scientific projects on augmented reality and tensegrity robotics, respectively. The tour concluded with ISSAI Senior Data Scientist Askat Kuzdeuov demonstrating the ISSAI digital human prototype Umay’s ability to interact in Kazakh.
After the tour Parties had a roundtable during which they discussed the creation of a conducive environment for AI-based development (AI strategy, AI innovations, computational resources, and creating technological platforms for AI). ISSAI’s Founding Director Dr. Atakan Varol expressed the potential of Kazakhstan in the AI race due to strong governance and the young and well-educated workforce. He noted the lack of computational resources as the major bottleneck for developing AI in Kazakhstan.