The heads of Yandex, Tinkoff and Severstal discuss technological developments

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum hosted a discussion with the heads of Yandex, Tinkoff and Severstal, during which the three discussed ideas on the development of technologies. Highlights of the discussion are presented below, with more details available here.

  • Artificial intelligence – artificial intelligence will not change human functions, rather it will help optimize routine tasks and make life easier for workers. It’s basically a digital version of the steam engine in terms of its impact on workers.
  • Future professions – routine and intermediary professions are likely to be replaced by automated processes; however, there will also be a place for professions that create something new, especially if that something new is perceived as valuable to consumers.
  • Investment climate – the Russian investment climate is characterized by limited finance and a focus on sales, whereas in Western countries (especially the U.S.), there is a seemingly endless flow of finance and a focus on ideas.
  • The role of the state in private companies – the state should only act to restrain entrepreneurs from “flying into space, like Elon Musk”; other than that, entrepreneurs should be free to take advantage of the opportunities they see as being beneficial to consumers.
  • Digitization – digitization is nothing more than a buzzword that has become somewhat meaningless in and of itself. Everything is becoming digital; this is inevitable. The personnel to do it are what really matters.
  • Creating an entrepreneurial culture – the development of an entrepreneurial culture is highly-dependent on the state. States need to create an environment for business development as well as a desire to launch something new. In Russia, there must be continued reforms, including in education, that will foster an environment in which individual entrepreneurs can be more successful.