Artificial intelligence to transform web: Russian tycoon

(AFP) – 1 day ago

MOSCOW — The emergence of artificial intelligence is to transform the Internet industry and social networking over the next decade, Russia's leading web tycoon said in an interview on Tuesday.

The low-profile Yury Milner, chairman in the rapidly expanding Mail.ru Internet firm and CEO of DST Global investment company who built minority stakes in Facebook and other Western firms, made the comments in an rare interview with Vedomosti.

"I think that in 10 years if you ask a question on a social network and you get an answer you will not know if a computer or a person has answered you," Milner told the financial daily.

"When you receive a question, you will not know if it has been asked by a person or an artificial intelligence. And by answering you help the computer create an algorithm."

Mail.ru, which is part owned by Russian magnate Alisher Usmanov and recently enjoyed a solid IPO in London, has grown into the biggest Internet firm in the Russian-speaking world with stakes in the most prominent portals.

It rose to prominence abroad when it unexpectedly took a 2.4 percent stake in Facebook. DST Global, the investment vehicle, also has an undisclosed stake of its own that unconfirmed reports put at a total holding of 10 percent.

In the interview Milner made no comments on the size of the Facebook stake, or Mail.ru's holdings in online games portal Zynga and deal-of-the-day website Groupon.

Milner said there had been a revolutionary change in demand for information and now there was "as much information generated in the the last two days as there was in the history of civilisation up to 2003."
AFP