Armenia's Low Artificial Intelligence Ranking: Expert Points to Lack of Government Strategy
Armenia ranks 54th in a recent Global AI Index that looks at the artificial intelligence capacities of sixty-two countries.
The Index, published by the Тortoise media platform in June, is based on 111 indicators, collected from twenty-eight different public and private data sources and governments.
Commenting on the raking, YerevanNN research lab Director Hrant Khachatryan says Armenia lacks a strategic policy at the state level.
“When the Ministry of High-Tech Industry was created, a draft was prepared on what our priorities are in this field. Nineteen sectors were mentioned. That is wrong. But until now that document has not been accepted. We don't know what our priorities are," says Khachatryan, arguing that such a number is too many to logically achieve in the IT sector.
YerevaNN lab bills itself as “a machine learning research center” that is heading an initiative to establish an artificial intelligence research institute in Armenia.
This initiative is seen as necessary given that Armenia ranks next to the bottom (61st) in terms of government strategy in the AI sector.
Armenia’s AI “research” and “infrastructure” rankings are also near the bottom at 59th and 50th respectively. One bright spot for Armenia is its 35th ranking in terms of AI talent.
"There are two directions where we want and have already begun to focus our efforts. The first is the creation of artificial intelligence models in life sciences: biology, chemistry, pharmacy. In our estimation, there are fewer teams in the world dealing with that field than there are problems in the field. That's why we can be competitive there," Khachatryan tells Hetq.
He points to a lack of communication in Armenia between the scientific community and the government, stressing that more work is needed to fill this gap.
“There are many scientists in the U.S., and many enter the state system and speak to other scientists on behalf of the state. There are not so many resources in Armenia, and there are several communication problems," says Khachatryan.
He calls for more AI specialists and groups in Armenia to develop the sector locally.