the 4theThe Global Innovation Forum, on “Life-Altering Technologies”, brought together representatives and leaders from the fields of science and technology in Yerevan, Armenia. The objective of the event was to explore the impact of new technologies on human life and discuss new approaches and possible solutions to the challenges faced in the field. Held from October 5-6 at Dvin Music Hall, GIF22 was organized by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FAST) in collaboration with the Government of Armenia.
GIF22 brought together more than 1,000 participants who participated in panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and conferences from more than 70 speakers. Representatives from Moderna, McKinsey & Company, ABBY, IBM, Flagship Pioneering, Cognaize, Analog Devices, Huawei, AI Fund, Synopsis, Syniverse Technologies, TotalEnergies SE, PMI Science and other technology companies participated in the event.
The forum’s opening ceremony was held on October 5, during which philanthropist businessman Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna and co-founder of FAST, delivered a speech on the importance of technological advancement in ensuring regional security. .
“Us [Armenians] they are very familiar with the challenges,” Afeyan said. “Challenges make us focus and flex our powers. There are numerous challenges that we see as a state that is in the development stage. We have inadequate resources, underdeveloped economy over the course of 30 years, lack of institutional capacity, development is slow, difficult geographical position. But this has been our home long before all our neighbors showed up here,” Afeyan said.
Afeyan also referred to the importance of the participation of the Armenian diaspora in events in Armenia, such as GIF22. “Many of us come from different parts of the world where Armenians have been forced to live for centuries, GIF is an opportunity to share the knowledge we have gained in foreign countries,” she said.
Afeyan discussed the various challenges facing the world today, including “global insecurity and wars, pandemics, the manipulation of social media, inequality and injustice, refugee crises, inflation, supply chain interruptions of supply, climate change”. She noted that these challenges should “push us” to find solutions.
In his remarks, FAST Board Chairman André Andonian said: “Everyone is here to support Armenia, to help us advance technology and enhance innovation. We have participants from Armenia and all over the world. We are all engaged here in open dialogue and hopefully making Armenia stronger but also advancing technology and building mutual respect and trust with [the] local science and technology community.
Since 2017, people in the fields of science and technology have attended GIF22, bringing their innovative ideas to a shared space where they can further advance. “We come back with new ideas, with fresh energy, to support the ecosystem moving forward in science, technology and innovation,” said Andonian. “I think science and innovation have become even more powerful, and artificial intelligence is growing rapidly and is important to society and industry.”
According to the statistics provided by Andonian in his statements, by 2025, 85 million jobs will disappear, while 97 million new ones will be created, as a result of the advancement of AI. He also emphasized that several significant scientific and technological achievements have been made in Armenia since the inception of FAST.
Deputy Prime Minister Hambardzum Matevosyan also made remarks during the opening ceremony of the forum. “The modernization of the Armenian economy, based on the promotion of high technologies, innovation and creative education, is the pillar of our development agenda,” he said while welcoming the participants.
Matevosyan emphasized Armenia’s commitment to further strengthen partnerships with companies seeking to explore ways to advance Armenia’s technological and scientific sectors. “We need to form a comprehensive understanding of the extent to which artificial intelligence is transforming the global economic infrastructure, and our persistent work must aim to ensure continued cooperation between humans and machines,” Matevosyan said.
Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan spoke to Armenpress on the sidelines of the forum. “The sector is growing by 20 to 30 percent every year,” Kerobyan said, highlighting the importance of the technology sector in Armenia’s economy. “This year, we think it could increase its share of GDP by up to 50 percent. We believe that in three or four years it will become the largest branch of the economy, larger than mining and process manufacturing and others.”
FAST is working to transform Armenia into a science-driven innovative country by 2041. The main goals of the foundation are to promote scientific discovery, drive innovation and incentivize inventions. By prioritizing the work of scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs working at the forefront of today’s most in-demand disciplines, the foundation is helping to put Armenia on the global innovative map, according to FAST’s founding CEO Armen Orujyan.
“The Global Innovation Forum is a unique format for exchanging thought-provoking ideas and promoting dialogue among representatives of government, education, science and business ecosystems, both local and international,” said Orujyan. “Science is not limited to any space, it is global in terms of its creation and availability, and the key to scientific work is cooperation. We are pleased to have prominent scientists, entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world here supporting us in our mission to put Armenia on the world map for innovation.”
According to Orujyan, who spoke to journalists on the sidelines of GIF22, high schools in Armenia will soon offer AI courses to students in parts of Yerevan and the Tavush region.
ABBY Founder and Chairman of the Board David Yang introduced Morpheus at GIF22. Morpheus is an emotional artificial intelligence robot, the first of its kind. The robot can talk, make jokes and even feel bored or sad. “Ten million pages of textual information, thousands of musical performances, and hundreds of videos were used to create the Morpheus worldview,” Yang said.
After the participants listened to music composed by Morpheus, Yang discussed the question of whether the AI will be able to integrate into family structures or remain “soulless.” “It is possible that by 2050, some states will legalize human-robot marriages,” Yang noted. “My family is struggling to understand the criteria that AI Companions must meet to be part of the human family, as is the case with dogs and cats,” she added.
A panel discussion on “Artificial Intelligence in Everyday Life” was held on October 6, during which Denovo Sciences co-founder and CEO Hovakim Zakaryan explored the use of AI in medical devices.
“Artificial intelligence is currently being used in various medical devices,” Zakaryan said. “There are more than 300 thousand medical devices now, but not all of them have artificial intelligence.” He also spoke briefly about medical applications and the security challenges that arise when companies track, collect, and share user data.
CNN International China contributor Lara Farrar moderated a panel discussion that explored the question of whether or not AI can replace a workforce. Farrar tried to calm participants’ fear of losing their jobs due to AI by reminding them that “there are a number of studies coming out of multiple think tanks and governments, indicating that millions of new jobs will be created in the coming years and decades. to come.”
Echoing Farrar’s claims, BluIP co-founder and CEO Armen Martirosyan assured participants that the goal is not to eliminate a workforce, but to integrate AI with humans. “We don’t want to replace people and do through AI what a person does, but through AI we are trying to ensure communication for the person that you get by communicating with ordinary people,” Martirosyan said.