Sberbank sees almost 200% return on investment in AI – Gref

MOSCOW, July 19 (Reuters) – Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, makes about $3 billion a year in artificial intelligence with a return on investment of around 200%, head of the bank, German Gref, told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

The lightning-fast advances shown in AI by companies such as the Microsoft-backed OpenAI start-up are sparking interest in the potential business benefits. Avoided and sanctioned by the West, Russia is forced to master this technology largely on its own.

“Every year we invest roughly the equivalent of a billion dollars in artificial intelligence technology,” Gref told Putin at an event in the Kremlin. – “And we recover about three billion dollars a year from artificial intelligence.”

“The scale is serious,” Putin replied. – This is the future, we are well aware of that. In terms of importance for a country, for any country, this is no less important than the nuclear or missile projects of its time.

While at the helm of Sberbank, Gref has invested in artificial intelligence, cloud services, big data and smart devices.

Gref did not specify which business areas in the AI ​​segment generate revenue.

Sberbank reveals little about its burgeoning tech business, but the lender has emerged as a major player in helping Russia overcome Western sanctions over Moscow’s “special operation” in Ukraine by offering its work to other market participants.


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