Kazakhstan conducts active research in the field of artificial intelligence

The next stage of transformation in the country determines the importance of creating the necessary conditions for the innovative activities of domestic research centers engaged in developments in the field of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI). 

The President of Country has noted the need to adapt the legislation of the republic to new technological trends – in particular, 5G, smart cities, big data economy, blockchain, digital assets and financial instruments.  

In the President’s view, Kazakhstan should become a brand as an open jurisdiction for technological partnership, construction and placement of data centers, data transit and participation in the global digital services market.  

Despite the fact that the pandemic and foreign policy tensions still remain factors of global disharmony, requiring considerable forces and resources to overcome difficulties, the issues of the digital agenda as the basis of the economy of the future should not be removed from the agenda. And many countries continue to steadily increase the potential of their technological capabilities. 

At the same time, the increasing influence of technological trends, the widespread use of automation and robotics tools lead to increased competition in the global market. The world is plunging deeper into the field of digital control and control systems using artificial intelligence – the innovative focus of the current technological mainstream.  

As the chairman of the Board of the CF “Fund for Support of Research and Development in the Field of Artificial Intelligence”, Bauyrzhan Bekov notes that today research in the field of artificial intelligence is also being conducted in scientific laboratories in Kazakhstan. A number of universities in the country have research centers that have actively joined this process. At the same time, there are achievements, as well as examples of successful use of new technologies in domestic practice. 

In particular, the Cerebra project was developed in the Almaty Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Today it is in the list of the best MedTech projects in the world. The development using AI allows doctors to detect strokes in patients at an early stage. 

There are several more examples of the use of AI in the healthcare system. For example, in the Centralized Medical Archive of Radiological Images, PACS artificial intelligence scans about 300 X-rays per day and identifies 14 of the most common symptoms of lung diseases with an accuracy of up to 84%. The results are processed and saved automatically, without the participation of a doctor. 

Project “” is a unique solution for managers, doctors and patients. Self-learning artificial intelligence analyzes treatment protocols filled out by doctors and compares them with international standards.

– Certainly, artificial intelligence systems will enter everyday life either with our efforts or with the help of developers from other countries. And although the practice of human interaction with artificial intelligence can bring both benefits and risks, nevertheless, the efforts of the state, business and science made in this direction are worth it for Kazakhstan to compete for the status of a country with its own innovative potential in the field of AI,- Bauyrzhan Bekov believes. 

Meanwhile, the question of how breakthrough domestic developments in the field of artificial intelligence will become clearly depends on the legal and other conditions created in the country. According to domestic developers, it is important to understand that the use of such systems in practice should be as safe as possible for society. Therefore, before releasing any products using AI, it is necessary to test them in a special test environment, which will eliminate possible risks associated with vulnerabilities and functional errors in the future. 

As Bauyrzhan Bekov notes, the development of artificial intelligence in Kazakhstan requires a more detailed study of legal and financial mechanisms that stimulate innovative activity in this area. An important role here is played by the issues of training personnel to work with new technologies. Today, such tasks are set by all countries of the world that are aware of the importance of innovative development in building the economy of the future. 

According to Alexander Pak, head of the Big Data Mining Laboratory, Candidate of Technical Sciences, Professor of FIT (Faculty of Information Technologies) KBTU, the need for regulatory laws for artificial intelligence and its applications did not arise by chance. For example, such systems are increasingly being used in medicine today, which means that in the field related to the life and health of people. At the same time, AI, as it turned out, is not always correct in choosing treatment methods. 

For example, in 2018, the IBM Watson AI system used in the diagnosis of oncological diseases offered by no means correct and dangerous ways to treat these pathologies. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is also used in the security system at airports, railway stations and other crowded facilities to search for possible criminals and terrorists by facial image. At the same time, it is not uncommon for innocent civilians to be mistaken for terrorists. 

– The most striking example in this series is the automated vehicle control systems from UBER, which caused accidents with human victims. In short, the current state of artificial intelligence technologies in the world is at a level where our artificial assistants, like humans, are also capable of making mistakes, and quite often,- says Alexander Pak. 

According to him, in these conditions, the most sensible solution is the introduction of regulatory and technical regulation. But here, as with all restrictive measures, one should be careful not to turn them into a source of corrupt "tools" for dishonest inspectors.

Speaking about the opaque logic of artificial intelligence systems, experts note that for confidence in their functional safety, it is important that a person can trace the chain of AI conclusions at the stage of system verification. Another serious problem is associated with a sharp drop in the quality of digital systems in real (practical) conditions. Such interruptions occur when the system encounters those factors of real life, the data about which it has not fixed in the memory block during the "training". 

– To solve these problems, it is advisable to introduce a regulatory sandbox in Kazakhstan, which will increase confidence in systems using artificial intelligence through controlled interaction, as well as identify new real situations that were not taken into account during its "training", – Bauyrzhan Bekov believes. 

According to the head of the fund, this will make it possible to form standards and procedures used in the operation of intelligent systems, taking into account the realities of Kazakhstan, including to develop recommendations on the legal aspects of their use in Kazakhstan, the expert notes.  

Remind that the "regulatory sandbox" is a special legal regime that allows developers in the field of artificial intelligence, neurosurgery and quantum technologies to use special conditions for testing new technological solutions for a certain time. 

Such "sandboxes" as part of measures to support the development of innovations are now being successfully implemented in many advanced countries of the world, including the USA, Singapore, Australia, the UAE, Switzerland and other countries. In January 2021, the law on experimental legal regimes in the field of digital innovation came into force in Russia, providing for the creation of a "regulatory sandbox" for testing new developments in this area. 

At the same time, pilot projects for testing new innovative developments have been launched in the field of healthcare, unmanned vehicles, telecommunications and traffic management. 

Thus, today Kazakhstani developers need to create the necessary legal conditions for testing new technological solutions in the field of AI, which will further ensure their predictable and safe functioning, as well as protect them from possible administrative barriers and, as a result, increase the level of investment attractiveness of domestic science in the international arena. 

All this in general will contribute to a more dynamic development of innovation processes in Kazakhstan.