Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2017 proclamation that whichever country leads in artificial intelligence “will be the ruler of the world” may come back to haunt him. New technology sanctions, an exodus of foreign tech companies and an impending brain drain could soon conspire to cause Russia’s AI ecosystem to shrivel.
Martijn Rasser, the director of the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security, said that even without sanctions, Russian AI research is at risk of being cut off from crucial chip supplies. He pointed to the recent decision by Nvidia, one of the major producers of graphics processing units — computer components that are used to power a bevy of AI tools, and which haven’t been affected by sanctions — to suspend all product sales in Russia.
“If that includes third-party sales, even that door is closed,” Rasser said.
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