• KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09131 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09131 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Artificial Intelligence in Central Asia: Applications and Regulation

The debate on the need for worldwide regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining momentum, given that over the past year AI has become a key tool for millions of people. With a growing number of organizations applying AI in various fields, including medicine, politics and judicial decisions, the urgent question is how to integrate AI into legislation. In Central Asia, in 2020 the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan authorized remote identification of individuals at banks using AI, machine learning and other predictive algorithms to process customer biometric data. Bishkek also introduced a facial recognition system based on artificial intelligence which allows data about wanted persons to be entered, and cameras to automatically identify them and transmit information to law enforcement. Artificial intelligence has also found its application in the political process. In 2020, the Mekenim Kyrgyzstan Party used a digital bot farm during the elections which generated approximately 150 profiles a day, automatically wrote comments and then self-liquidated. In Tajikistan, where the use of AI is not widespread, MegaFon stands out for its introduction of the Dono chatbot in 2019. This artificial interlocutor interacts with around 14,000 subscribers per day, freeing humans from routine tasks and allowing them to deal with more complex issues. In Uzbekistan, meanwhile, the government is taking active measures to stimulate the development of AI technologies. A presidential decree has established comprehensive steps towards the digitization of the economy and the social sphere. Digitization of government data in various sectors, such as justice, communications, finance, education and healthcare are becoming an integral part of the development strategy. The application of AI technologies, starting with image recognition and navigation systems, has already become a tangible part of task-solving in large enterprises, and the country is actively working to create an enabling environment to further expand the use of AI. In Kazakhstan, AI is being actively introduced in the judicial system, and over the past two years AI systems have been used to analyze court cases and predict their outcomes. The authorities believe that this approach helps minimize errors and improves the quality of justice. In the field of healthcare, since 2022 Kazakhstan has been successfully operating the PneumoNet program based on artificial intelligence. This program makes it possible to detect 17 of the most pathogenic lung diseases, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, and cancer. Currently, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan do not have specific laws regulating the creation and use of AI. Despite this, the Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence in the Republic of Tajikistan until 2040 notes that during the implementation of the first and second stages of said strategy, legal, institutional and infrastructural frameworks will be developed, and the necessary specialists will be trained. Unlike its neighbors, Uzbekistan adopted a presidential decree "On measures to create conditions for the accelerated introduction of artificial intelligence technologies" as early as 2021. This document has become the legal foundation for the further development of AI in the country, defining its main directions. The resolution emphasizes the need to develop...

Nearly 750,000 Students in Kazakhstan to Get a New School

Three hundred and sixty-nine new schools, accommodating 740,000 students, will open in Kazakhstan in 2024 and 2025, the minister for education Gani Beisembayev said at a February 20th government meeting about the “Comfortable School” project.  The minister added that 163 of these schools will be built in rural areas, and 217 of them will open their doors this year. The new schools will be constructed using only domestically produced building materials, and all furniture will be purchased from Kazakh companies.  The schools will be equipped with modern equipment, and increased security will be ensured with advanced technical means. They will also provide a barrier-free environment for children with special educational needs. Prime minister Olzhas Bektenov, who chaired the meeting, emphasized that the “Comfortable School” project should resolve the problem of overcrowded schools, and replace old schools that have fallen into disrepair.

Kazakhstan Receives $46 Million Grant From World Bank’s Pandemic Fund

An official ceremony was held in Astana with the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan, Mikael Friberg-Storey, Executive Director of the Pandemic Fund, Priya Basu, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Skender Sila, and representatives of diplomatic missions in attandance, according to the press service of the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan. Recently the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan and the WHO signed an agreement for a grant of $46 million. The terms provide Kazakhstan with a country grant in the amount of $19 million, and multi-country grant in the amount of $27 million for three years. Aside from Kazakhstan, 35 countries of the WHO European Region received grant funding for the development of medicines and healthcare systems. In total, according to the World Bank, the Pandemic Control Fund received 179 applications from 133 countries around the world. About 30% of the grant funds went to projects from countries in Africa. The specialized agency said that this money will be used to improve the healthcare system in Kazakhstan, namely the development of epidemiological surveillance, laboratory security, border control, early detection, and response and training of medical personnel. The WHO's country office in Astana will oversee the implementation of the grant in Kazakhstan and provide general technical support to the Ministry of Health. The Pandemic Fund was established in September 2022. It's considered to be the first multilateral financing mechanism to provide long-term, grant-based financial assistance to low- and middle-income countries to improve their preparedness for future pandemics. By the middle of last year, the fund had raised $2 billion in seed capital from 25 nations and philanthropic organizations.

EBRD and Shinhan Bank Upgrade Almaty’s Atakent Conference Hub

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Shinhan Bank Kazakhstan are financing an ambitious upgrade of the Atakent Business Cooperation Centre in Almaty, to help Central Asia’s leading conference hub build world-class sports facilities.  The EBRD on February 19th announced it will share half of the risk of a KZT 3bn ($6.6m) loan provided by SBK, a fully owned subsidiary of Shinhan Bank Korea, to Atakent under the risk-sharing agreement between the two banks. The first risk-sharing transaction between the EBRD and SBK will finance the construction of a new sports and health facility, which will allow the Atakent hub to host national and international sports events.  The new sports complex will have a modern gym, various indoor and outdoor training facilities, two 25-metre swimming pools, and world-class arenas for a broad range of sport activities. The new facility will be open to professional athletes and the general public. The building – the construction of which is being supported by a $172,200 grant under the EBRD’s Resource Efficiency Transformation Program, funded by the Global Environment Facility Special Fund – will meet class A international energy efficiency standards. The grant will help introduce energy-efficient solutions, including LED lighting, insulation, and modern heating and cooling equipment.

Problems and Prospects for Development: Raushan Yeschanova on Art in Kazakhstan

It is said that art can open doors to the depths of the human soul, transport one to other worlds and allow one to see and experience things from a new perspective. The history of Almaty is rich in culture and creativity, and today, Almaty-based art historian Raushan Yeschanova shares her thoughts on contemporary art in Kazakhstan, the problems of its development, and the role that will be played by the new Museum of Contemporary Art, which is scheduled to open this year.   TCA: Tell us how you came to study art? Traveling has always made me think about how mankind was able to create such masterpieces and what moved them. And it's not just about the Renaissance, Art Nouveau and or contemporary art; it’s also about ancient Egyptian art and artifacts from lost civilizations. In addition, I worked as an interior designer, and this required a good knowledge of interior styles. After all, art is not only paintings and sculptures, but also architecture, and I always wanted to immerse myself in it.   TCA: How do you assess the influence of the national culture of Kazakhstan on the development of contemporary art in the country? If we talk about the present time, at the moment our country is experiencing, I would say, "a period of revival in art". Since the formation of the fine arts school in Kazakhstan occurred during the accession of Kazakhstan to Russia, our art developed under the influence of Russian painting, which in turn looked to Western European art. After all, before the period of annexation there was only decorative applied art, and to engage in painting was forbidden due to religious traditions. After a century of development, once ideological principles became less strict, artists have returned to their "nomadic" past in which they find more and more sacred knowledge about life   TCA: What themes and motifs from history and culture most often inspire contemporary artists? They are inspired by rock art, symbols, mythological subjects… Kazakhstan is first of all a steppe, it is a yurt - and this universe is a source of inspiration for many. Artists use different styles, for example, combining ancient techniques with painting or, for example, placing the meaning of human existence into the national female headdress, the "saukele".   TCA: What problems do contemporary artists face in Kazakhstan? The main problem facing contemporary artists is the underdeveloped art market within the country. Many established artists live and work outside of Kazakhstan. As for young artists, it is the lack of quality institutions aimed at the realization of their creativity. There is no opportunity to participate in exhibitions, and the basis for promotion is social networks. Despite the presence of galleries in the cities, not all artists have the opportunity to display their works, as the issue of selling work is often controversial. Also, many talented artists have second jobs where their labor is better paid; for example, in the field of interior design, wall painting or creating...

Kazakhstan’s Dimash Kudaibergen becomes UN Ambassador

The Kazakhstani musician, singer and composer Dimash Kudaibergen has been named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Migration, according to a post by Kudaibergen on his Instagram page. The UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) called Dimash "an extremely popular singer in Central Asia and beyond".  The 29-year-old singer is originally from Aktobe, and became a global celebrity after participating in the Chinese musical competition The Singer in 2017. "Our new regional and national Goodwill Ambassadors are inspiring people around the world. With IOM, they will contribute to improving people's lives. We welcome you to IOM!" the organization said in a statement. The United Nations International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization in the field of migration. It was founded in 1951 and is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. The organization has 175 member states and eight observer states.

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