Russia’s Sberbank, enhancing AI offering, unveils second supercomputer

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MOSCOW, Nov 11 (Businesshala) – A second supercomputer and artificial intelligence (AI) upgrade is part of Sberbank’s enhanced offering of digital services such as cloud computing and virtual assistant software, Chief Technology Officer David Rafalovsky told Businesshala on Wednesday.

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Russia’s largest lender (SBER.MM) is investing more in non-banking services as it moves to offer more technology systems, even removing “bank” from its logo last year . On Thursday it unveiled a second supercomputer, the Kristoffee Neo, to meet internal and external AI demand that has exceeded expectations.

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The supercomputer was named after Nikolai Christopheri, the bank’s first customer 180 years ago.

The lender, along with other Russian firms including Yandex (YNDX.O) and Tinkoff (TCSq.L), is developing a so-called ecosystem of services beyond its core business, something Sberbank says counteract the shrinking margins of traditional banks. need to.

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The central bank has said that banks will have to create additional buffers if ecosystem investments exceed 30% of their total capital.

But Rafalovsky said Sberbank, whose ecosystem includes e-commerce, cyber security and cloud services, has room to continue investing millions of dollars in technology.

“We are not constrained in terms of our ability to invest in capital,” Rafalovsky said in an interview. “We are investing more now (compared to a year ago). Our investments in core IT infrastructure and products have increased overall.”

He said that Sberbank’s primary technical barrier was attracting the best information technology (IT) talent.

Sberbank needs that talent to further expand its technical arsenal. The most “commercially significant” update, Rafalovsky said, was ML Space Pvt, an AI development toolkit that third parties can use without having to fully connect to SberCloud.

This, he said, was important to the many state-linked Russian firms that may be unable to run sensitive government data through Sberbank’s commercial cloud platform.

Russia’s government-owned Sberbank has assets of 36.8 trillion rubles ($521.5 billion) and a market value of about $113 billion.

Chief executive German Greif said on Tuesday that Sberbank was looking at expanding its digital offering to other European countries, while Rafalovsky indicated that a spin-off of the digital asset was possible at the time.

“We are ready to be able to do it when the time is right,” he said. “The timing of doing this is just as important as getting something to spin.”

($1 = 70.5625 rubles)

Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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