PetrSU Opened the Artificial Intelligence Center

Petrozavodsk State University has joined the race for leadership in the area of artificial intelligence applications in Russia and the world. One of the principal goals of the Artificial Intelligence Center is the development of competences in the area of AI, search for specialists and leaders among students and teachers of PetrSU, forming teams able to develop prospective products in demand in the market. These products are applied in virtually every economic area: microelectronics, mechanical engineering, robotics, medicine, safety, public services, education, agriculture, and commerce.

“Many projects of the Artificial Intelligence Center of PetrSU are implemented in cooperation with the industrial partners of the university. We also receive commissions from humanities scholars, linguists, historians, and sociologists, which promote the development of interdisciplinary research in the field of artificial intelligence,” says Aleksey Marakhtanov, the Director of the Center.

The Center carries out research and implements projects in the area of artificial intelligence and intelligent systems. The work of the Center is backed by the achievements of the prolific physics and mathematics school of the university. The research actively involves the results of the applied research carried out by the scientists and engineers of the IT-Park, Nanocenter, Regional Center for New Information Technologies, as well as the engineering educational institutes of PetrSU (the Institute of Physics and Technology and the Institute of Mathematics and Information Technologies).

One of the main research areas of the Center is the introduction of AI methods to industrial enterprises. The tasks are defined by production projects that PetrSU have long been successfully implementing in cooperation with such industrial partners as AO JS-Nanotech (one of the leaders in Eastern Europe in developing, packaging, and testing of microelectronic products), the Petrozavodsk branch of AO AEM-tekhnologii (a part of the mechanical engineering division of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom – Atomenergomash) and OOO Petrozavodskmash Foundry.

“In the framework of production analytics, PetrSU Center is engaged in the development of algorithms that can be used as a basis for the development of smart sensors for the Internet of Things. JS-Nanotech is launching its production of these sensors, while the Petrozavodsk branch of AO AEM-tekhnologii and Petrozavodskmash Foundry are fitting their equipment with these sensors. There are several other prospective areas of economy and production that can introduce these sensors,” clarifies Aleksey Marakhtanov.

Sensors take readings of technical and operating conditions of equipment. The results of the analysis will be transferred directly to workers of the factory (in real-time), and accumulated in the data processing center (from all equipment), which will work with big data for forecasting and planning of production.

Large-scale data processing is done with the use of the developed intelligent systems that analyze data and perform data mining using algorithms and machine learning methods. This research will also be applied in the development of recommendation systems, detection of fraudulent transactions, medical research, and other areas.

For instance, the Center carries out human motion studies. Physiologists of PetrSU are involved in the research. Intelligent motion analysis allows detecting deficiencies and hence helps a doctor determine further procedures for rehabilitation of correct motion activities (including rehabilitation after a trauma, exercises for elderly people, athlete training).

Applying intelligent data-mining systems in media information allows solving tasks of object identification in pictures and video (for instance, the tasks of access control and computer vision), while analysis of textual data helps developing digital assistants able to communicate with people as a chatbot, answer questions and consult. These technologies also can be used in education, for instance in testing students’ knowledge, mistake analysis, foreign language studies.

“Other important research areas of the Center are robotics and VR/AR technologies. With AI methods we can control the motion of robotic equipment and receive fast feedback. Active surveillance of motions allows assessing its current condition and adjust it in a way so it would be accurate and precise,” noted Aleksey Marakhtanov.

VR/AR technologies enable the implementation of projects of virtual and augmented reality, which can be used in training (for instance, there is a project developing virtual simulators for teaching welding), maintenance and operation of industrial equipment, creation of virtual workspaces for joint activities.

The Artificial Intelligence Center has hosted online data-hackfest Artificial Intelligence Digital Solutions in Karelia. The contestants, teams of students and graduates of PetrSU, had to solve in a limited time tasks similar to the research areas of the Center. The participants of the hackfest will receive further advice on the solutions from the moderators of the Center throughout summer, this support will also be offered during the online programming school. The organizers believe that by September there will be new, unique solutions to the assigned tasks.

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